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A homage to the courage and determination of the men and women who cared for – and saved the lives of – the hundreds of thousands of British soldiers who were wounded at the Western Front.

This is the unforgettable story of the remarkable medical workers of World War One.
A hundred years ago, the Armistice that ended the Great War was signed. The human cost was devastating: over 21 million military wounded, and nearly 10 million killed. The injuries on the battlefield were unlike anything those in the medical field had ever witnessed. Yet, they adapted incredibly fast – saving millions of lives.

Drawing on letters and diary entries, we follow the lone stretcher bearer into the trenches only to find that they were all dead, to the dugouts where rescue teams dug frantically to escape the earth-shaking shellfire, and from stretcher to aid station, from jolting ambulance to crowded operating tent, exploring actual cases of casualties who recorded their terrifying and remarkable experiences. A groundbreaking book of the history of the Western Front from a new perspective, this is a tribute to the indispensable medical network that came together and saved our soldiers.

‘A highly readable account...this is an engaging book...they are voices that deserve to be heard.’ Daily Express


An original and absorbing account... [Mayhew] has a marvellous eye for quirky and horrifying detail... Absolutely compelling

Peter Parker, Times Literary Supplement

Mayhew deftly describes such daily horrors as shattered jaws and severed arteries, filthy uniforms and decay. What takes the book beyond the standard accounts of the trenches, however, is its depiction of how such terrible circumstances forced people to respond in remarkable ways

Victoria Segal, Guardian

Wounded is a powerful and descriptive read, and through it I found a greater understanding of what it was to be part of that war

Sarah Mullally, Church Times

Among the many books commemorating the conflict, one stands out for its specialisation. This is Wounded... Mayhew is to be commended for giving us these testimonies

Colin Gardiner, Oxford Times

A fascinating read

Stephen Coulson, Lady

Both tragic and uplifting, for me it brought home the full horrors of the war

Cultural Voyager


Gun Mart

Requires total immersion followed by quiet contemplation… Not only a history of medicine. It is a history dedicated to men […] for whom the war-afflicted body was a life sentence

Joanna Bourke, Lancet


Tony Rennell, Daily Mail

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    March 15, 2014


    288 pages

    RRP $28.99

    Online retailers

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  • EBook


    September 12, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    288 pages

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