The Lost Sketchbooks is a powerful account of one soldier's story in World War I. The author skillfully weaves the narrative found in the book Soldiers of the Castle, a History of Company B, 103 Engineers in with the sketches of Edward Shenton from the same engineer company. The result is an excellent and well illustrated look into World War I, told from a soldier's perspective. From the young artist's early interest in military heroics through the time of train up and then combat operations, this book puts you in the middle of the action of the soldiers of the 28th Division, AEF. There are 151 separate illustrations with their accompanying narratives. This is an excellent source for anyone interested in the Great War and how the soldiers’ who won it trained, fought and survived. Major General (Retired) Wesley Craig, the 34th Commanding General of the 28th Infantry Division.



A kind of visual time capsule, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in the Great War, by Rex Passion provides an extraordinary and previously unknown window into the experiences of an American Doughboy in the First World War. Paul Cora, The Western Front Association
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It's no accident that The Lost Sketchbooks is the shape and size of half a standard sketchbook. By choosing this shape, the author and publisher adopted the size of the book's subject — sketches drawn by a young combat engineer who found standard drawing books too large to carry. Thus he cut them in half to more easily fit into his kit. David Beer, University of Texas, Austin, in Roads to the Great War blog.


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Rex has performed a labor of love in preserving the voluminous corpus of work Shenton left behind. Keith Muchowski, Research Librarian, New York City College of Technology, from an interview I gave for his blog, The Strawfoot, A New Yorker's American History blog ( Articles for The Lost Sketchbook were posted on March, 12, April 16 and April, 17, 2015.
READER COMMENTS This book is a treasure from start to finish. The artist comes across as the dreamy charming young boy who continues with that outlook... I don't know when I have had an account of someone's life that made me feel so good about the human race. Charles Rowan Beye, Distingushed Professor of Classics Emeritus, City University of New York see full review at
... a remarkable piece of research and a highly readable reconstruction of Edward Shenton’s wartime career. You’ve done a real service in pulling such a memorable collection of sketches together ... Evan Hadingham, Senior Producer WGBH, NOVA series see full review at




What a talent! To do those sketches while fighting a war — well, it is mind bending. Marjorie Kinkead The sketches and text drew you in and made you feel like you were there on the battlefields looking through the eyes of the young artist. Marion J. Chard – historian, author of "No Bridge Too Far, The story of the 36th, 39th, 540th and 1108th Engineer Combat Regiments of World War II" see full review at


It is rare to find new material regarding The Great War, but Rex Passion has done just that with his book, The Lost Sketchbooks: a Young Artist in The Great War. Carol Bajen-Gahm, artist, Cambridge, Mass see full review at
War offers its participants the daily proximity of death, and -- as with so many other artists, writers, and composers -- it inspired Shenton to do arguably his best work. Rex Passion's commentary is model of its kind. At once detailed and speculative, It provides an exemplary context for Shenton's work. Urgently recommended. Lawrence Millman, Author, Cambridge, Mass. see full review at (Lorenzo the Unmagnificent)


It is a beautifully rendered visual and verbal window into the life of a talented artist... At a stage of life when I am trying to reduce the number of books in my library, I plan to make this one a part of my permanent collection. Elizabeth Wylde, Cambridge, Mass. see full review at I think that you have preserved an important piece of American history. Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.English Department Indiana University of Pennsylvania I love the illustrations or the people that Ed Shenton encountered behind the lines, French and American – and of course “Soldiers in the Mud” is especially poignant. The humanity emerges from them even more effectively than it does from many photographs. Ed Lengel, Historian, author of To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918. A historian of “The Great War” will find the details extremely interesting, reflecting light on the activities of a young soldier while serving his nation. It is therefore my pleasure to recommend this book as a welcome adjunct to others on the topic of “The Great War”. Lee S. Anthony, Ph.D., CAPT USNR Ret., Historian and Past National Commander 80th Division Veterans’ Association This is a unique book, beautifully produced and written that has reach beyond the military buff, as witness how it has captured me. Richard P. MacDonough, Literary Agent When I look at Ed Shenton`s wonderful drawings, rescued from nearly a century in the attic, I feel like I am walking alongside as he marches off to fight World War I. Rick Beyer, Author, Filmmaker of The Ghost Army


Your use of Soldiers of the Castle in the absence of Ed Shenton's direct narrative along with his poems was seam less. It made me feel as if I were watching him in his own words through his journey. Roy Eichhorn, Expert consultant, The Ghost Army: World War II`s Artists of Deception by Rich Beyer It is really well done! Paul Herbert, Executive Director, First Division Museum at Catigny. I was most impressed with the Lost Sketchbooks... Mike Perry, Executive Director, Army Heritage Center Foundation It's fascinating to watch Ed's art develop, from the juvenilia depicting Rough Riders and knights in battle to the detailed realism of his trench-life pictures to the looser, more mature works such as "Comin' Home" and "Soldiers in the Mud." David Lubin, Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art, Wake Forest University It really is an amazing piece. James W. Zobel, Archivist, MacArthur Memorial


 ...his sketches show people, places, faces, planes, guns, locomotives, trucks, prisoners and comrades in arms in every possible activity. Christina Holstein, Historian, author of Fort Douaumont, Fort Vaux and Walking Verdun see full review on