Crow review - Book of the Year

THERE is no doubt that the publication of Jack s War – The First World War Diary of Jack Halstead – captured the attention. Indeed, the book has now been re-printed for the third time due to public demand for copies. Work during a two-year period culminat

THERE is no doubt that the publication of Jack's War - The First World War Diary of Jack Halstead - captured the attention.

Indeed, the book has now been re-printed for the third time due to public demand for copies.

Work during a two-year period culminated with the book being launched at Royston Town Hall.

It was there Pam Rhodes, presenter of television's Songs of Praise, and one of the guests for the evening, described the work as "absolutely inspirational".


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She said the diary was a "vibrant book which is quite remarkable".

The diary was almost lost until its potential was recognised and it was handed over to the Royston and District Museum.

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Originally, the museum staged an exhibition about the diary, but it was then decided it should be presented to a wider audience, and publisher John Street was invited to take on the project. The result was a book which came about from a diary which Jack Halstead - one of the men behind the Halstead store in Royston - had written during the war.

His original notes and sketches of the days he spent in the trenches and around the Western Front were written on scraps of paper before being transferred into an exercise book.

It was that exercise book that was eventually handed over to the museum and the expectations of actually having it published were discussed.

* Copies of Jack's War are available from Royston and District Museum.

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