At The Going Down Of The Sun
Love, Loss & Sacrifice In Afghanistan
– Graham Bound
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Published November 11 2014 – Hardback / 446pp
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The most emotionally gripping book to come out of Afghanistan, AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN is a unique collection of heart-breaking tributes to the dead of that war by those who loved them the most.
Often sharing their loved ones’ final letters, emails and phone calls home, the widows, parents and friends of twenty of the more than 450 dead tell their stories – from childhood to untimely death.
Tom Sephton and Steven Birdsall, best friends since the age of 11, joined up together (Tom in the Mercian Regiment, Steven in the Royal Marines), went off to war together and died on the same tour.
Welsh Guardsmen L/Cpl Dane Elson and L/Sgt Dan Collins were another pair of mates who served together in Afghanistan. When L/Cpl Elson was killed by a bomb, L/Sgt Collins had to help collect his friend’s body parts. Unable to cope after his return to the UK, L/Sgt Collins later committed suicide.
Acting Sgt Sean Binnie a high-flier, seemingly headed to the SAS, had a feeling he wouldn’t come back; when he was killed, his mother lost her only child.
The parents of the first British soldier to die, Capt James Philippson, are still grieving for their lost son, eight years on; as are those of Parachute Regiment hero Cpl Mark Wright GC, the father of the first female soldier to die, Cpl Sarah Bryant, and the mother of the youngest, Rfn William Aldridge – just 18 when he was killed.
Young lieutenant Dan Clack left a poignant letter to be read to his ‘brother riflemen’ in the event of his death.
Young Cyrus Thatcher wrote to his parents, ‘Although the Army was sadly the ending of me, it was also the making of me.’
At The Going Down Of The Sun is a fitting tribute to a group of men and women who will live on in the hearts and memories of their family and the nation.
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