John Jeffcock is a poet and former soldier in the Coldstream Guards who served with the British Army, in the first Gulf War (mentioned in despatches), Northern Ireland and Bosnia Herzegovina. For his second book, Heroes John selected, with the help of Carol Ann Duffy (Poet Laureate), Simon Rae (of Poetry Please on BBC Radio 4) and General Sir Richard Dannatt (former head of the British Army), 100 poignant poems that speak of war in our time.
Heroes: 100 Poems from the New Generation of War Poets
In 2010, with the full support of the MOD, John Jeffcock, poet and a former soldier in the Coldstream Guards, invited contributions for a book of modern war poems. He was overwhelmed by the response: contributions came from serving soldiers, veterans and their families - wives, sisters, daughters (one just 11 years old). The writers have one thing in common: these are people whose lives have been changed by war, and the poems speak to readers with direct, emotional appeal. While over half of the contributions relate to Afghanistan, there are also poems inspired by World War II, The Falklands and Northern Ireland. This is also the first time that poems have been gathered from all ranks and all organizations - from the Parachute Regiment to the Special Air Service, from the Gordon Highlanders to the Royal Marines. As the poetry of Brooke, Owen and Sassoon spoke to those who endured World War I, here are poems that speak of war in our time - the theatres of war might change but the emotional resonance remains the same.