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No Empty Chairs By Ian Mackersey

No Empty Chairs
by Ian Mackersey

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The 1914-18 conflict narrated through the voices of the men whose combat was in the air.
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No Empty Chairs Summary

No Empty Chairs: The Short and Heroic Lives of the Young Aviators Who Fought and Died in the First World War by Ian Mackersey

The empty chairs belonged, all too briefly, to the doomed young First World War airmen who failed to return from the terrifying daily aerial combats above the trenches of the Western Front. The edict of their commander-in-chief was the missing aviators were to be immediately replaced. Before the new faces could arrive, the departed men's vacant seats at the squadron dinner table were sometimes poignantly occupied by their caps and boots, placed there in a sad ritual by their surviving colleagues as they drank to their memory. Life for most of the pilots of the Royal Flying Corps was appallingly short. If they graduated alive and unmaimed from the flying training that killed more than half of them before they reached the front line, only a few would for very long survive the daily battles they fought over the ravaged moonscape of no-man's-land. Their average life expectancy at the height of the war was measured only in weeks. Parachutes that began to save their German enemies were denied them. Fear of incarceration, and the daily spectacle of watching close colleagues die in burning aircraft, took a devastating toll on the nerves of the world's first fighter pilots. Many became mentally ill. As they waited for death, or with luck the survivable wound that would send them back to 'Blighty', they poured their emotions into their diaries and streams of letters to their loved ones at home. Drawing on these remarkable testimonies and pilots' memoirs, Ian Mackersey has brilliantly reconstructed the First Great Air War through the lives of their participants. As they waited to die, they shared their loneliness, their fears, triumphs - and squadron gossip - with the families who lived in daily dread of the knock on the door that would bring the War Office telegram in its fateful green envelope.

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No Empty Chairs Reviews

In the spring of 1917 the Royal Flying Corps was losing 200 pilots a month, with life expectancy for young flying officers standing at just 11 days. Constructed through surviving letters and diaries, this harrowing and detailed history, written by a former pilot, looks at the terrible toll that the war took on these young men embarking on a new age of warfare CATHOLIC HERALD No Empty Chairs describes in vivid detail the often short lives of the young pilots of World War One... This book is one that has a very human feel, in that it does not simply look at the combat or the planes, but at the people who flew them, who risked their lives in them and who died in them. An appealing work that is both moving and efficiently accurate in its details WARFARE MAGAZINE an interesting overview of the whole war... I enjoyed reading this well written and researched book... the photographs are good too CROSS & COCKADE INTERNATIONAL This is a splendid addition to the literature, re-analysing with fresh, sharp eyes, and adding much THE WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION STAND TO! 20130501

About Ian Mackersey

Ian Mackersey is a writer and documentary film-maker; his speciality is aviation biography. He began his career as a writer for The Dominion and later the New Zealand Herald, and has lived in Britain, Rhodesia and Zambia, before returning to New Zealand. Visit his website at

Additional information

No Empty Chairs: The Short and Heroic Lives of the Young Aviators Who Fought and Died in the First World War by Ian Mackersey
Ian Mackersey
Used - Very Good
Orion Publishing Co
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.