12:10PM, Tuesday 05 August 2014
The devastating effect on Windsor of the 'war to end all wars' is told in a new book launched at the town's museum yesterday.
The book - Windsor in the Great War - was written by Derek Hunt and Doctor Brigitte Mitchell. It took four years to research and the launch coincided with a new exhibition at Windsor Museum in High Street.
Brigitte made a contribution of her own to the exhibition - a genuine British shell she found in a German trench at Fromelles in Northern France.
She said: "I was part of a group visiting in June and picked up the shell as we stood in the German trench. It was bang opposite the trench where Windsor man Lance Corporal Arthur Stevens had fought and I like to think he lobbed it over.
"He was last seen climbing into the German trench but was never seen again."
Brigitte, 73, of Albert Street, is German - her father fought at the Somme. She came to England in 1959 when she married a British soldier.
Her co-author Derek, 65, of Harrington Close, Windsor is a keen military historian who has written several books.
Brigitte said: "We spent two days in the Royal Archives looking through the war diaries of King George VI and Queen Mary. Derek did George and I did Mary.
"There was a lot about visiting hospitals and entertaining wounded soldiers at Windsor Castle. Only once is the war specifically referred to - when the Germans were launching their last major push and the Queen writes 'news from the front not good'."
The book is published by the Windsor Local History Group. It is on sale at Waterstones in Peascod Street and Windsor Information Centre, Thames Street.
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