John Howlett

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  • Love of an Unknown Soldier by John Howlett

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    Epic love story set in the First World War – the unlikely and fraught romance between an American Nurse from Boston and an English infantry Corporal, originally a shepherd from the border hills. In the trenches they call him the ‘Cheviot Sting’ – Harry Cardwell, a tough young Lance-Jack you wouldn’t challenge even at arm-wrestling. The 21 year-old shepherd from the border hills is already one of the ‘veterans’ of the Somme battlefield. Returning from leave Harry confronts a burly Sergeant auctioning off a tin of very intimate love-letters and photographs found in a shelled dug-out. Trying to protect the privacy of those letters, Harry buys them himself. A simple act of decency that is to have a lifetime of consequence. Encouraged by two of his young officers, Harry eventually finds the girl in the photographs, the intended recipient of those passionate love-letters. Annie is a nurse from New England, former volunteer with her doctor husband on a Harvard Medical Unit, she has ended up a widow on an ambulance train serving the Western Front. ‘We are two strangers who meet in hell’, she writes to Harry. ‘We come from two different worlds and have no mutual friends. Why should we hide anything from one another?’