As a child in the 1950s I attended primary school in Lasswade, a village not far from Edinburgh. On the way to and from school I would visit and observe the sad remnants of my mother’s family. My granny was in perpetual mourning for her husband Clem a casualty of the Great War – one of the lost souls of the missing. Her brother and sister lived with her; Harry, slightly unhinged from mowing down German soldiers with a machine gun at the age of eighteen and Jen, condemned to spinsterhood due to the cull of men. My mother too, carried a grief for the father she never knew and I’m sure I have shards of this embedded in me.
The emotional damage of war is felt, not just by those directly involved, it drips insidiously down though the following generations. Lost Souls of the Missing explores this idea. My novel is dedicated to Clem Walter, a talented poet and writer.
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