Spies fighting the Nazis in occupied France, pilots defending the homeland against invading bombers, seamen transporting essential supplies across the globe – these are just three roles performed by the sons and daughters of South Asia during the First and Second World Wars.
As a child, Linda Stock was taken by relatives to a strange church to watch a bell-ringing ceremony that baffled her throughout her life – until she eventually learned the truth and unveiled a deep family secret.
During the summer of 1917, a young man called Fred sent a postcard to a Mrs Nottage of Campbell Road, East Ham, to tell her of the weather he was experiencing in France and of his hopes that she was in good heath.
On July 1 1916, thousands of soldiers walked across to German lines on the Western Front and began their assaults, confident their enemy had been weakened by a week-long bombardment of 1.6 million shells.
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