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It all began with a suitcase in a cellar...

My writing career began with the discovery of a suitcase in a cellar of Rugby School, Warwickshire, in 2017. It contained the letters, photographs, school and military records of 2Lt Louis Stokes (left), a young officer of the Royal Marine Light Infantry killed at the Battle of the Ancre on the 13th of November 1916. That discovery led me to research the 687 old boys and masters of Rugby School who were killed in the First World War, resulting in the publication of 'Rugbeians in the Great War' in 2019.

Having served in the Royal Navy myself, my interest in the First World War had always involved the Royal Naval Division - those sailors who served ashore alongside the army rather than at sea. My research into Louis Stokes and his life made it clear that the history of the Royal Marines in that war had received comparatively little attention from publishers, particularly the Royal Marine Artillery, and so I set about researching for my second book, 'The Royal Marines on the Western Front'. Now that that too is published, I am in the midst of writing my third book - 'Steady Thunder: The Household Cavalry in the First World War', which will be published in 2023.

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