Mavis writes to An Unknown Soldier using Byron as her inspiration

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A Papplewick based historian has been busy making her contributions to the war commemorations through several publications.

Mavis Ellis, of Mansfield Road, has written a letter to An Unknown Soldier which she has submitted as part of an international project.

People from around the world have been invited to write an imaginary letter to the statue of a soldier at London’s Paddington Station which will form part of a permanent collection online, being put together for 1418 NOW - a major cultural programme taking place across the UK.

“It was my great uncle, Sgt Walter Rosser of the the South Wales Borderers, which prompted me to write it,” said Mrs Ellis. “He died on active service in France during the Great War. He was unmarried and had served previously with the Army in India.”

However Mrs Ellis used Lord Byron as her subject matter ‘who gave his life to the Greek cause in 1824 at the age of 36, the same age as my great uncle’.

Hucknall Library has also agreed to display a short story, written by Mrs Ellis, called Samuel’s Boys.

“This is based on a fictitious 82 year-old former church choirmaster, Samuel Swaby, of Watnall, and his choirboys and deals with their reaction to the war,” explained Mrs Ellis.

“I have dedicated the piece to my former history teacher at the Hucknall National Junior School, Peter Louis Gallally. He served in the Second World War.”