the great silence book

The Great Silence: From Mushroom Valley to Delville Wood, South African Forces in World War One


“And the voice of the lawyer shall be heard no more in thee; and the voice of the accountant shall be heard no more in thee; and the voice of the teacher shall be heard no more in thee; and the voice of the sportsman shall be heard no more in thee…”

When war struck in 1914, it struck not just Europe, but everywhere across the globe, including South Africa, whose troops saw action in five theatres.  They fought one another on home soil, during a rebellion fuelled by old resentments; they fought the Germans in the deserts of South West Africa and the jungles of East Africa (now Namibia and Tanzania); they fought in Egypt; and they fought, and died in their thousands, on the Western Front.

Fully illustrated with over 150 photographs, maps and graphics, and with eight special insets on some of the more extraordinary characters in the war – such as Jackie the baboon, who was wounded by shrapnel in Flanders and returned to South Africa a hero – The Great Silence takes us into the dark heart of the Great War itself.

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Writer: Tim Couzens

Publisher: Art Publishers

Number of pages: 261

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