Leighton Buzzard author explores what life was like for First World War soldier

Diary of Frederick Joseph Stanbridge
Diary of Frederick Joseph Stanbridge

An author from Leighton Buzzard has wrote a book based on the diary of a Battlesea Rifleman from the First World War.

Wendy Marston, 74, of Heath Road, wrote ‘First World War Diary of Rifleman Frederick Joseph Stanbridge’ after finding a diary that he kept during the war, Frederick was her grandfather.

Wendy with the book she wrote and some of the memorabilia from her grandfather

Wendy with the book she wrote and some of the memorabilia from her grandfather

The book is a transcript of a daily diary that he kept during the war.

Wendy said: “I was looking at all the things about the commemoration of the First World War and I found a diary kept by my grandfather during the war, and letters and memorabilia from that time.

“I thought I have got this diary, maybe I could put this into a book so people could read about what it was really like during the First World War for a soldier.

“I think people will see war differently if they read it from a soldier’s point of view.

“Fred’s family background sets the scene, and then the diary takes the reader through his journey from London to Palestine. After Fred’s death the story turns to what happened next to Fred’s family.

“The final pages contain messages from Fred to the family, sent via Spiritual Mediums between 2002 and 2017.”

Fred was living in London when he went to war, after the war his parents moved to Dagnall, where Wendy’s father spent his childhood.

The book is peppered with pictures of letters, photographs, and interesting memorabilia, including the original pocket diary.

Wendy added: “It is a true story. A day to day account of what it was like to be a Rifleman in the First World War. It makes us aware of the bravery of the soldiers.”

The book is available from Amazon Books, W.H. Smith and Waterstones.