Felsted grandfather pens book about First World War

Lawrence Dunn

Lawrence Dunn - Credit: Archant

A grandfather inspired to capture the devastation of the First World War – having first had his imagination sparked as a young boy when he saw photos of soldiers who never returned – has finally published a book, despite “almost giving up”.

Images of the Great War

Images of the Great War - Credit: Archant

Lawrence Dunn, 72, of Chelmsford Road, Felsted, spent seven years working on his book, which is made up of more than 290 pictures, created by British artists, showing their own experiences of the fighting, lasting from 1914-1918.

After sending out countless e-mails and letters to publishers, to no avail, he was ready to throw in the towel.

It was some encouragement from a friend that inspired him to make another last ditch attempt and now his book, ‘Images of the Great War’, will be available to buy online and in shops on Monday.

The former art history teacher told the Broadcast: “I am absolutely thrilled by it. I remember how many letters and e-mails I sent out. I had almost given up and then my wife and I went for a short holiday to a friend’s. He said ‘go on, give it another go’ and I did.

He added: “Then I saw a large envelope on the floor and I knew it had to be a contract. For an unknown author it is very good.”

Mr Dunn, who has two children and five grandchildren, has always been interested by art history since his first week at art college in 1958. He went on to teach the subject in Sunderland and Essex.

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His inspiration for the book came from his interest in the First World War.

The subject matter of the book is fascinating,” he added. “It is an unusual way of celebrating the First World War.

“When I was very young I used to ask about the Second World War but I was always told by my parents generation ‘you want to find out something about the Great War as that was far worse’.

“As a small boy most houses I went in there on the mantle piece would be a photograph of a soldier who had not come back.”

‘Images of the Great War’, published by Austin Macauley, will be available from Monday March 2 from Amazon and bookshops.