Over the years, I have done various types of writing, from poems to short stories, as well as magazine articles and more latterly as a songwriter. I had always wanted to write a full length book and as the centennial of the end of the Great War approached, I felt like it was now or never. My great uncle’s photo had been on the wall of our family home when I was growing up but his story had never been told.
The process of researching and investigating his story became an emotional journey both for many others and myself who became interlinked with Allen’s life. I made connections with local history groups and family members of some of Allen’s fellow soldiers from his time in the Dorsetshire Regiment. The culmination of this was a trip to the village in France my great uncle and others died liberating one hundred years ago.
Back in England following the publication of my book, I’ve undertaken numerous talks about my great uncle’s stories and it has been fascinating to connect with lots of other people who also have a family story of their own to tell. Countrywide there seems to have been a collective remembrance of those extraordinary times a century ago.