Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, Tommy is the first history of World War I to place the British soldier who fought in the trenches centre-stage.
Tommy tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins, Richard Holmes portrays the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind the epic conflict, and their legacy.
‘Indispensable for anyone who wants to understand what the life of a soldier on the Western Front was really like.’ Max Hastings, Daily Mail
‘What sets Richard Holmes apart is the sheer quality of his writing and his empathy with his subjects … Tommy will stand as a classic of First World War history.’ Independent
‘Monumental … Every page of this is worth reading.’ Time Out
‘Richard Holmes at his impressive best.’ Bernard Cornwell, Evening Standard
‘This is excellent popular history: scholarly, highly readable and utterly absorbing.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Holmes has produced yet another fascinating, balanced and original book of a highly emotive subject.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘It is perhaps the finest book on the First World War that I have ever read.’ Simon Heffer, Country Life
About the author
Richard Holmes was one of Britain’s most distinguished and eminent military historians and broadcasters. For many years Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Royal Military College of Science, he also taught military history at Sandhurst. He was the author of many best-selling and widely acclaimed books including Redcoat, Tommy, Marlborough and Wellington, and famous for his BBC series such as War Walks, In the Footsteps of Churchill and Wellington. He served in the Territorial Army, retiring as a brigadier and Britain’s most senior reservist, and was Colonel of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment from 1999 to 2007. Richard Holmes died suddenly in April 2011 from pneumonia. He had been suffering from non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma.