High Bickington man captures great uncle’s war diary in brand new book.

Tales of a World War One despatch rider have been brought to life in a brand new book.

David Venner, of High Bickington, has brought out an abridged version of his great uncle’s war diary to mark the centenary of the Great War.

Albert Simpkin was a motorcycle despatch rider and saw continuous service on the Western Front.

Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18: the diary of Sergeant Albert Simpkin tells tales of the war, from witnessing the horrors of the trenches to amusing anecdotes about fellow soldiers.

David said his great uncle never spoke a word of the war, and the family did not even know of the diary’s existence until his mother found it.

He said: “My mother found the diary when she was clearing her uncle and aunt’s house in Buenos Aires where they had lived since about 1930.

“The problem was, it was in 1982 and the Falklands War broke out whilst she was there. Fortunately she managed to get back to England – with the diary – and encouraged me to get it published.”

Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18 can be bought from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk or from any good bookshop.