The Second World War is vanishing into the pages of history.
The veterans were once all around us, but their numbers are fast diminishing.
While still in their prime many recorded their memories with Peter Hart for the Imperial War Museum.
As these old soldiers now fade away their voices from the front are still strong with a rare power to bring the horrors of war back to vivid life.
The 16th Durham Light Infantry were supposed to be just an ‘ordinary’ battalion. But their experiences as they fought their way up through Italy show that there is no such thing as ‘ordinary’.
They struggled to break out from Salerno, then across the countless rivers and mountain ranges that seemed to spring up to bar their way to victory. They learnt their military skills the hard way facing determined German opposition every step of the way.
These were no ‘D-Day Dodgers’ but heroes in their own right.
But there was another battle being fought as they struggled to maintain their morale day by day, as their friends died and their seemed to be no end in sight. This is their story.
Peter Hart was born in 1955.
After attending Liverpool University he has worked as the Oral Historian at the Imperial War Museum since 1981, He is responsible for interviewing veterans of all conflicts from the Great War to the present day.
His previous books include 1918: A Very British Victory, The Somme, 1916, Aces Falling: War Above the Trenches, 1918 and Jutland, 1916.
His Voices from the Front series with Pen & Sword includes, The 16th Durham Light Infantry, The 2nd Norfolk regiment and the South Notts Hussars.
He is married with two children and lives in North London
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Voices From the Front: The 16th Durham Light Infantry in Italy, 1943 – 1945