The Road to Passchendaele

The Heroic Year in Soldiers' own Words and Photographs

Richard Van Emden

Date Published :
August 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
100 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781473891906
Pages : 392
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.75 inches
In stock
ISBN : 9781526724960
Pages : 392
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.5 inches
In stock


Passchendaele is the next volume in the highly regarded series of books from the best-selling First World War historian Richard van Emden. Once again, using the winning formula of diaries and memoirs, and above all original photographs taken on illegally held cameras by the soldiers themselves, Richard tells the story of 1917, of life both in and out of the line culminating in perhaps the most dreaded battle of them all, the Battle of Passchendaele. His pervious book, The Somme, has now sold nearly 20,000 copies in hardback and softback, proving that the public appetite is undiminished for new, original stories illustrated with over 150 rarely or never-before-seen battlefield images. The author has an outstanding collection of over 5,000 privately taken and overwhelmingly unpublished photographs, revealing the war as it was seen by the men involved, an existence that was sometimes exhilarating, too often terrifying, and occasionally even fun. Richard van Emden interviewed 270 veterans of the Great War, has written extensively about the soldiers' lives, and has worked on many television documentaries, always concentrating on the human aspects of war, its challenge and its cost to the millions of men involved. This book will be published in June 2017, in time for the 100th anniversary of the epic Battle of Passchendaele which began on 31st July 1917 Richard van Emden’s books sold over 650,000 books and have appeared in The Times’ bestseller chart on a number of occasions. He lives in West London and regularly appears on television, mostly recently as BBC1’s historian for the national commemorations of the Somme Battle. He has appeared on over forty television documentaries and has written nineteen books on the First World War.

About The Author

Richard Van Emden has interviewed more than 270 veterans of the Great War and has written seventeen books on the subject including “The Trench” and “The Last Fighting Tommy”, both of which were top ten sellers. He has also worked on more than a dozen television programmes on the Great War, including the award-winning “Roses of No Man's Land”, “Britain's Boy Soldiers”, “A Poem for Harry”, “War Horse: the Real Story”, “Teenage Tommies” with Fergal Keane and most recently, “Hidden Histories: WWI's Forgotten Photographs”. He lives in London.


"Richard van Emden is one of the world's leading authorities on WW1, and his contribution to the literature of Passchendaele is, quite simply, outstanding. Many of the photographs in this book are new, never before seen, but that is not what makes this book special, rather, it is the dignity and unparalleled authority Richard has in telling the story of Passchendaele. A worthy commemoration of the men who fought and died there. Superlative."

- Books Monthly

Lavishly illustrated and well-written this is an ideal place for the Passchendaele novice to start.

- Guild of Battlefield Guides

Many of our readers will be familiar with Van Emden's work and his style and authority when writing on the subject. I felt this was one of his best volumes to date, allowing the men to tell their own story.

- Mark Marsay, The Great War Magazine

“van Emden draws from his outstanding collection of over 5,000 privately taken and overwhelmingly unpublished photographs, revealing the battle as it was seen by the men involved… a timely and timeless contribution to the growing library of World War I histories and memoirs.”

- Midwest Book Review, December 2017

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