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Woodbine Willie An Unsung Hero of World War One Bob Holman

22nd March 2013
288 pages: 198mm x 130mm x 19mm

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Woodbine Willie was the affectionate nickname of the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, an Anglican priest who volunteered as a chaplain on the Western Front during the First World War. Renowned for offering both spiritual support and cigarettes to injured and dying soldiers, he won the Military Cross for his reckless courage, running into No Man's Land to help the wounded in the middle of an attack. After the war, Kennedy was involved in the Industrial Christian Fellowship, and he wrote widely. This superb biography is based on original interviews with those who knew and loved him. A deep and real concern for his fellow men drove him relentlessly, and this book shows how vital was the role he played, on the battlefields of the trenches and then the slums. Bob Holman, described by the Daily Telegraph as 'the good man of Glasgow', has made a mission of living alongside the disadvantaged of British society. An accomplished writer, who contributes regularly to the Guardian, he is the author of several books, including Keir Hardie (Lion Books).
Introduction 6 1. Childhood and Education, 1883-1904 8 2. Into the Church, 1905-14 16 3. Worcester and War, 1914-16 26 4. The Wandering Preacher, 1916-17 38 5. Rough Rhymes, 1917-18 50 6. On the Front Line Again, 1917-18 58 7. The Hardest Part, 1918 74 8. From Local Priest to National Preacher, 1919-21 82 9. The National Figure, 1921-29 110 10. More Books Including a Novel, 1923-29 126 11. The Death of Studdert Kennedy, 1929 138 12. The Man, His Message and His Methods 154 Epilogue Personal Observations: Towards a Better Society 184 Notes 195 Bibliography 215 Index 219
BOB HOLMAN worked as a social worker before becoming a professor of social administration. He then spent 20 years living in poor housing estates, latterly Easterhouse in Glasgow, supporting the poor in practical ways. Driven by his Christian faith, he continued to campaign for the poor until his death in 2016. His books included A New Deal for Social Welfare, Children and Crime, and biographies of Keir Hardie and Woodbine Willie.

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