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This year's publication is Charley’s War: the Diary of Charles Parkinson Heare 2nd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment 1914-1919 edited by Christabel Hutchings and Richard Frame. It will be launched on 30 November 2018 at Gwent Archives.

The Private Charles Parkinson Heare (1891-1985) was born in Griffithstown, near Pontypool. His first job involved crushing stone at Cwmavon Quarry but he left at sixteen to work at Tirpentwys Colliery as a 'collier's helper'. Heare joined the Second Battalion of the Monmouthshire Regiment Territorial Force in 1913 and embarked for France, with his battalion, on 5th November 1914. He lived through the First World War serving on the Western Front as an orderly with 2nd Mons under the command of the 4th and then 29th Divisions. In 1918 he marched into Germany with the 29th Division where the Rhine Bridgehead was established near Cologne. There he worked as a cook and achieved a level of reconciliation with the German people. In this respect Charles Heare's diary is compatible with the centenary commemorations taking place this year. He left the army in January 1919 and might have slipped back into obscurity but for the fact that he compiled a record of his experiences during the war. This has survived and is remarkable for both the detail it provides and candid way in which it is written.

Christabel Hutchings taught at Coleg Gwent. She was awarded an M.Ed by Cardiff University for her study of nineteenth century education and more recently an MA for her study of 'Slavery and Status in Roman Britain' by University of Wales, Newport. She has extensively researched the life and work of T.H. Thomas (1839-1915). She is an active member of many local history societies and has published articles in local history journals.

Richard Frame was director of an organisation for homeless people for twenty-five years before his retirement and was awarded an MBE for his community work. He is a well-known local historian and jointly runs a publishing business the 'Three Imposters'. Richard co-founded the Newport Local History Society and The Friends of Newport Museum and Art Gallery. He has recently been involved in the Western Front's commemoration of the end of the First World War in a project entitled Journey's End.

Further details about this book and how to order it...

The following titles are also in preparation:

  • The Diary of William Southern Clark, 1854. Cardiff Steals a March, edited by Richard Watson

  • The Diary of Charles Morgan of Gower, 1834-1857, edited by Rod Cooper


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