The Last of the Last by Claude Choules

Tomorrow being Remembrance Day I thought I'd mention the Last of the Last by Claude Choules which he began writing after attending a creative writing course in his eighties. The book was published thirty years later and made him probably the oldest published author in the world at the age of 108. Sadly, Claude died earlier this year at 110 but it goes to show that it’s never too late to pick up your pen. He was the last survivng veteran of the First World War who actually saw active service, here's a link to the Wikipedia article about him.

I am astonished at how the men and women who got through it alive managed to survive such terrible things and go on, most of them it seems, to live normal lives, Claude fought in the Second World War too. Interestingly he didn't attend Remembrance Day services because he felt they glorified war.

I loved the book. Thank you for mentioning it here.

How do people manage to survive such terrible things and live on? You just do. Instinct, or rather: Survival Instinct.

Normal lives? No, we never managed to live a normal life, because there are always the scars and the trauma (PTS) is extremely present. But, we live as well as we can and that, in some cases, is better than many who never were subjected to such horrors.