Book highlights life in the trenches

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Letters written by a Hucknall miner as he fought in the trenches of the First World War have been included in a new book.

Frank Woodhouse, who died in 1982 at his home in Charles Street, was a veteran of some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.

He had enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery in 1914 but was discharged in the october as being medically unfit. It wasn’t long before he rejoined, this time with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Frank survived the war, although at one point it was thought he might perish from severe injuries sustained in fighting.

His great-nephew, Tony Woodhouse, who lives in Shropshire, has a couple of Frank’s original letters.

These now feature in a compilation put together by author Jacqueline Wadsworth, entitled Letters From the Trenches, The First World War by those who were there.

Mr Woodhouse said: “What strikes me most is how articulate he was as an ordinary person who probably left school at 14. The letters are descriptive and very well composed.”

In one letter, he writes of having “a souvenier” from the enemy in his back, and tells of a friend, Tom Walters, from Hucknall who had died.

Tony, himself a former member of the Parachute Regiment, believes that his relative and Tom had probably joined up at the same time.

Jacqueline Wadsworth told the Dispatch that letters from troops told the more human stories behind historic dates and facts and figures.

She said: “The letters from Frank really stood out for me.

“If there was ever a volunteer who matched what Lord Kitchener had in mind, here was one.”