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The youngest soldier who fought in the Great War is believed to have been just twelve years old. Many thousands of other boys are known to have faked eye tests, inflated their small chests and stood on tiptoes to bluff their way into a war of unforeseen horror. How and why so many under-aged boys were able to get to the battlefields is a complex mystery of World War I, and until Richard van Emden's classic account, largely unexplored. Boy Soldiers of the Great War tells for the first time the incredible stories of the boys who went to fight for their country. Richard van Emden, having amassed a unique collection of personal testimonies and hitherto unpublished diaries and letters, brings to life their stories of heroism and sacrifice. This edition has been completely revised and updated.