A quarter of a century before his “finest hour” in 1940, Britain’s future Prime Minister faced a very different kind of crisis. As First Lord of the Admiralty at the start of the First World War, Churchill found himself blamed for the catastrophic military fiasco of the Dardanelles. Thrown for the first time into the political wilderness, he decided to rejoin the British Army and take his place on the Western Front.
The first standalone account of this period of his life since the 1920s, Churchill in the Trenches reconstructs his six months near the Belgian town of Ypres. It reveals he how he gradually won over the troops he commanded — the tough but traumatized 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. And it tells the largely unknown story of how amid mud and squalor, one of the 20th century’s most memorable characters became one of its greatest leaders.
Peter Apps is global defense correspondent for Reuters news. In 2006, he broke his neck in a minibus accident while covering the civil war in Sri Lanka, leaving him largely paralyzed from the shoulders down. Of the 20 or so countries he has reported from, more than half have been since the injury. He is currently on sabbatical as executive director of the Project for Study of the 21st Century (PS21) www.projects21.com.
Cover design by Kerry Ellis.