Drawing on diaries, letters, and personal accounts from British conscripts who served on the Western Front in the latter half of the Great War, this is the first book to explore the contribution they made to the war effort. By the end of the war more than 2.5 million men had been conscripted, but their memory has not lived on; they are the lost legions of World War I. Here, at last, their story is told: the story of ordinary men, from manual workers to clerks and solicitors, who became soldiers, fought and -- for those who survived -- went home. In this groundbreaking work, Ilana Bet-El explains their absence from the imagery of the war. She reconstructs the daily life of soldiers on the Western Front as we are told, in the conscripts' own words, of the grim reality of dirt and lice and hunger, the mysteries of army pay and military discipline, and the joys of leave and cigarettes. It is a compelling journey back in time, which restores these men to the public image of the Great War by rediscovering the "forgotten memory" of Britain's conscript army.