[P]enrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart attended a reception at The George Hotel last week, to launch a new book about Penrith during the First World War.
The collection of stories, entitled ‘Heroism, Hardship… and Victory’ were drawn together by the Penrith Remembers group, and edited by co-chair Ann Risman, with help from former Herald Journalist, Bill Mossop.
Rory Stewart said: “There is now no one alive today, who was an adult during the First World War, so this book does something very important – it connects us back to our past, and to a particular place, and it does so in a way which is not just beautifully written, but is beautifully presented; it’s short, it’s crisp, it’s got very moving photographs.
“It provides something that’s very easy to imagine, and something that will appeal to an enormous number of different generations. And it’s also quite modern, because it isn’t a traditional form of history. If this book had been written in 1920, it would have been almost entirely an attempt to celebrate the heroism of the trenches, but because it’s been written 100 years later, it is much more open to what was happening in Cumbria, as well as what was happening abroad, what what happening with women, as well as what was happening with men, what was happening with the young, what was happening with the old. And as a result – although on the surface that might make it seem less romantic, less adventurous – its complexity, its openness to all the different experiences of the people who lived through World War I, makes it a far more interesting collection of stories.
“It makes me feel very optimistic, and very cheerful about Cumbria, that we can still produce something of this quality. And it is our hope that in perhaps another 100 years, someone has the connections, the energy, the belief and the faith, when we are all gone, to produce something as moving, thoughtful and interesting as this.
“I would like to thank everyone who was involved in producing this book, and particularly Ann Risman, for their time and energy, and for their wonderful, invaluable contributions.”
Copied of the book are £5 and available from the Herald office on King Street, Penrith.