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Updated: Sep 5, 2019


It is very special for me to host Margaret on my Blog. And an honour and a pleasure to review her book.

I met Margaret at a book signing in Leicester where Margaret lives. We chatted and I learnt that she had found her grandfathers diaries from when he served on an Ambulance Train in WW1. Read below, what inspired Margaret and how she came to write her wonderful book.


LEONARD'S WAR is a novel based on my Grandfather's Diary from WW1 where he worked on the Ambulance Trains in France.Leonard went to France with his friend John in January 1916. They were serving King and country through the Battle of the Somme. Both men were from Woodhouse Eaves in Leicestershire. They trained in a busy Field Hospital complex set up on the horse racing track in Rouen. We follow through the Pain of Serious Injuries , to Life in the Trenches and the Workload of the Stretcher Bearers. We meet "Woodbine Willie" the well known Padre that gave away cigarettes and New Testaments.We come Home to Woodhouse Eaves where a Convalescent Home is set up there in Beaumanor Hall. The Contents of the Diary From The Great War are included in this Book.


I was inspired to share my grandfather’s war experiences when I found his diary written during WW1 while clearing his house after he died.

Like most men he never spoke about his time during WW1. 

Two things inspired me to write it as a book. 

The first one was when I heard that The York Railway Museum was to hold an exhibition of a WW1 Ambulance Train. I had by this time a typed copy of My Grandfather’s Diary and I sent it to them in the hope that it would add to their memorabilia of the event.

As a result of this, my husband and I were invited up to the Open Evening where we met others whose relatives had worked on the Ambulance Trains too. 

On a Plaque at the side of the train were various names and I was proud to see my Grandfather, Leonard Folwell’s name included.

Also reading Mary Wood's book. "All They Have to Give. " inspired me when I saw that Mary had visited the Somme for her research.

Since the book’s publication I have given many talks, at which I have sold a lot of my books – I think this a fitting tribute to my Grandfather and all who fought in The Great War.


Feels like you’re living the story. Enjoyed the history brought to life.

One person found this helpful

What a good read, there was so much I did'nt know about the trains that took the injured troops away from the front. This book was very well researched and interesting.

A very interesting read of a real life situation, thoroughly recommend this book.


***** 5 Stars

This is a gem of a book for anyone interested in WW1. I so enjoyed it, and will keep it by my side to assist me in research.

But this is more than that, it is a book that will give hours of pleasure as you join Leonard, John, and Stanley and many more.

As here the work and day-to-day routine of these men and those working on an ambulance train is brought vividly to life - to echo Kay above, it is as though you are living the story.

This is almost like a play-back of how it actually was, which is quite unique. And I loved the snippets of events that took place at the same time - a terrible train crash, and the death of Lord Kitchener.

So much is covered giving an insight into this war and some of the events - deserters and their punishment, and how the Padre was so important. Shell shock, with an insight into how those suffering were treated.

It keeps you enthralled, and yet, you can dip in and out of it as you please, and each time you pick it up, you are immediately transported back into Leonard's life and learn too, of his love for his family and for his future wife, Cath.

The actual diary is reproduced in the back of the book - it is fascinating.

Thank you, Margaret and thank you too, to Leonard, and to all who fought, or looked after the injured in the First World War, we owe you a debt we can never repay.

Link to Margaret's Book


For your chance to win a copy of Margaret's book, personally signed by her; leave a comment. All who do will be entered in a draw. Good Luck

ALL COMMENTS will go forward to a second draw on 8.9.19 to win the chance to receive an advanced copy from Pan Macmillan Publishers, of my next release THE WRONGED DAUGHTER - and will be a guest reviewer on a blog that is part of me blog tour in November.U

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Wonderful blog, sounds a great read. X


Looks amazing read its a must get from me xxxxxxxx


I would love to read this book it sounds very promising. X


what a wonderful tribute this is cannot wait to read it x

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