‘Drazin has composed a beautiful family tribute that at the same time ... thoughtfully interrogates our tragic imperial history’ – Mark Le Fanu, Spear’s Magazine
‘[An] enthralling meditation on Britain’s imperial past’ – Sunday Telegraph
Mapping The Past is a family memoir in which Charles Drazin draws on the experiences of his grandfather to tell the story of five Irish Catholic brothers who enlisted in the Royal Engineers at the end of the nineteenth century. Becoming military surveyors, they mapped vast swathes of the British Empire, living up to the Royal Engineer’s motto of Ubique ('Everywhere'), and then returned to Europe to face the Armageddon of the Western Front. It is the story of Ireland, and of the Empire from which Ireland broke away. It is the story of conflict, war and its aftermath. And most of all, it is the story of memory, endlessly carrying the past, for better or worse, into our present and our future.