As you'll all know, we sadly lost Martin's mum, Peggy, on 7 February this year.
Within Peggy's personal belongings we found lots of bits and pieces that had been kept from World War 1. These had belonged to her dad, William Preston Sidney, who served in the British Army for the duration of the War.
We came across lots of photographs, post cards, embroidered greetings cards and other mementos, along with three of Will's personal hand written war diaries which cover the latter part of the War from 1917-1919.
The diaries are quite small and the writing is even smaller. In spite of this, and it being in pencil, which has smudged in places, we managed to read a few entries and we quickly decided that we really wanted to look into Will's experiences in the War in more detail and that I would like to share his story.
I plan to tell Will's story from when he volunteered for the British Army in 1913, right through to his demobilisation in June 1919.
As we only have Will's diaries from 1917-19, there are some parts of the story which will be quite sketchy, but we will try and use whatever other resources we can to fill the gaps.
From what we've seen so far this will be a truly moving love story, which we really weren't expecting, as well as a real first hand account of day to day life in what was an awful time, but should never be forgotten.
We hope you will follow Will's story with us and find it as interesting as we have.
Click on the link to read all posts with the label 'Will Sidney's War'.
Post 1 - Who was William Preston Sidney?
Post 2 - Researching Will Sidney's War
Post 3 - William Preston Sidney - Before the War
Post 4 - Will Sidney and The Queen's own Yorkshire Dragoons
Post 5 - Will Sidney's War - Aug 1914-Jul 1915 - Waiting to go to France
Post 6 - Will Sidney's War - July 1915-June 1916 - First Posting to France
Post 7 - Will's Personal War Diaries
Post 8 - Will Sidney - The Shoeing Smith
Post 9 - Will Sidney's War - December 1916-March 1917 - Second Posting to France
Post 10 - Will Sidney's War - 'Sweet & Twenty'
Post 11 - Will Sidney's War - In Graylingwell
Post 12 - Will Sidney's War - June 1917 - Third Posting to France - Landing at Etaples
Post 13 - Will Sidney's War - June 1917 - Thoughts of Ethel
Post 14 - Will Sidney's War - June 1917 - The Bull Ring
Post 15 - Will Sidney's War - July 1917 - Brothers in Arms
Post 16 - Will Sidney's War - July 1917 - Sports Day!
Post 17 - Making Lance Corporal
Post 18 - The Front Line - The Menin Road - September 1917
Post 19 - A lull in the Storm for Will
Post 20 - Back into the Fray
Post 21 - Will Sidney's War - To Italy by Train
Post 22 - Will Sidney's War - November 1917 - The Long March
Post 23 - Will Sidney's War - December 1917 - The Italian Front Line
Post 24 - Will Sidney's War - February 1918 - Day to Day Life on the Italian Front Line
Post 25 - Will Sidney's War - March 1918 - Still on the Italian Front Line
Post 26 - Will Sidney's War - April 1918 - Mountains & Trenches
Post 27 - Will Sidney's War - June 1918 - 'In the Dock'
Post 28 - Will Sidney's War - July 1918 - Still 'In the Dock'
Post 30 - Will Sidney's War - August 1918 - Formentations, Electrical Rays & an Operation
Post 31 - Will Sidney's War - September 1918 - Treading the Boards
Post 32 - Will Sidney's War - October 1918
Post 33 - Will Sidney's War - November 1918 - The Armistice & A Wedding
Post 34 - Will Sidney's War - December 1918 - Re-engagement
Post 35 - Will Sidney's War - January 1919 - Heading for Home
Post 36 - Will Sidney's War - May 1919 - Dispersal