As I’ve been editing and rewriting portions of Lady Grace this past weekend, I have realized that I am emotionally involved in this book. Naturally, as a writer, that often happens when you create characters and bond with them. It certainly did to some extent with the Legacy Series since I had so many lives that I followed on paper for twenty-plus years.
Lady Grace, however, has been an emotional journey. I don’t think I have blubbered so much penning and reading my story. It finally dawned on me why my emotions have been so stretched after watching a new interactive documentary now streaming on Netflix entitled “Our World War” that originally aired on BBC. You can read about it here on the BBC site. It’s not an easy show to watch because it puts you in the middle of the war as if you’re standing in the trenches with the young lads.
When I walked away from the first episode, I had to ask myself why am I so involved in this book and so horrified and filled with sorrow after watching “Our World War.” I guess you could say that little voice within my heart spoke and answered the question that also brought me to tears. The answer lies in my DNA that links me to my second cousins, two times removed, who bravely served, fought, and perished in the line of duty during World War I. The young men below share the same distant grandfather with me, Henry Holland (1792-1853). Perhaps somewhere in the DNA strings we share, they are speaking from the grave to remember them and their sacrifice. And remember them I will, as I dedicate Lady Grace to their memory in the front of the book.
God rest your souls, dear cousins. Rest in peace for the peace you fought to bring for King and country.
- Private Thomas Douglas Holland – Killed in Action June 5, 1915 – Gallipoli, Turkey (18 years of age from Salford, UK – buried Helles Memorial Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey)
- Private Harry Walton – Killed in Action February 6, 1917 – France (42 years of age from Salford, UK – buried in France)
- Private Gilbert Hough – Killed in Action October 9, 1917 – Belgium (18 years of age from Salford, UK – buried in West Flanders, Belgium)
- Private Frederick John Holland – Killed in Action May 8, 1918 – France (27 years of age from Tuakau, New Zealand)
- Major George Henry Holland – Killed in Action May 15, 1918 – France (32 years of age from Tuakau, New Zealand – buried in Colincamps, Somme, France)
- Corporal John Holland Sapsford – Killed in Action November 4, 1918 – India (24 years of age from Prestwich, UK – buried in Rawalpindi, Pakistan – formerly India)
- In memory of my great aunt’s husband – Henry Lofthouse – Died of wounds May 1, 1917 – Kent, England (30 years of age – buried Shorncliffe Camp, Kent, England)