For Love and Courage – Letters Home from the Western Front

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WORLD War One will be bought to life at the next Cowfold Village History Meeting on 4th May when Anne Nason will be talking about her grandfather Lieutenant Colonel E.W.Hermon D.S.O. who in two years wrote 600 letters home to his wife in Cowfold from The Western Front from 1914 until his death on 9 April 1917, the first day of the Battle of Arras.

After her husband’s tragic death, Ethel Hermon kept all the letters in the drawer of her Georgian mahogany desk.

When Ethel died the letters and desk travelled to the other side of the world to New Zealand with their daughter.

In 1991 thedesk came back to England and, for the first time since her grandmother, the letters were read by Anne Nason, Lt. Col Hermon’s grandaughter and their full historical impact was realised.

The letters portray life at The Western Front in great detail.

They discuss the extraordinary bravery and courage of the ordinary man in the face of the most extreme conditions imagininable on the battlefield and the most mundane aspects of everyday life in the trenches.

A tender and poignant love story between two people whose lives are seen, through the letters, as a testament of love to each other.

The letters are collected and edited in the book ‘For Love and Courage – Letters from the Western Front 1914 - 1917 by Anne Nason.

The talk will also explore how this touching family archive brings to life a bygone age through the publishing of the letters.

Friday 4th May 2012, 8pm, Cowfold Village Hall.

Tickets £3 on the door.

Article contributed by Cowfold Village History Society

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