A letter received via Pen & Sword:
"I’ve just finished reading your book on the First World War in Chelmsford. I’m an Essex ex-pat, having lived over here very happily for fifty years, but always homesick for Chelmsford – people can’t understand how anyone could miss Chelmsford! We’ve visited frequently and although all my relatives are gone, I still have many friends there. I was brought up in Chelmsford/Springfield/New Hall (I was there during the WW2 bombing) and was at the High School 1950-58.
"I want to congratulate you on the magnificent and scholarly work and to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it, as I’m sure so many others will. I buy most books about Chelmsford’s history and once I had started this I could hardly put it down.
"Main reasons were of course my familiarity with the town in much later years, and the town as I knew it (ie before new roads, demolition and expansion). Not much chance of being in horse-drawn cart bringing milk churns in from Boreham through the town centre nowadays! I could therefore relate to so much description, and was delighted with the level of detail you managed to convey. Your inclusion of so many maps was brilliant.
"Another fascination was reading so many names I knew – and in some cases knew the people referred to – and many would probably have been the grandfathers or great-uncles of people I knew at school. We had a Margaret Horsnell at CHS in my time, I think, and perhaps she was connected with Alick. My own family connection with this war was from elsewhere in Essex, but some of my older relatives were working at Marconi’s."