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Posted: 20/10/2014 - Moving War Poetry and Short Story Collection Published by Former Crookham Minister’s Daughter-in-law

 

 

Moving War Poetry and Short Story Collection Published by Former Crookham Minister’s Daughter-in-law

 

 

Jenny Martin, daughter-in-law of the late Rev Dr D J Martin, minister at Crookham church during WWII, has composed and published a collection of her poems and short stories to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War on 4th August 1914. 

 

 

The collection is entitled Aftermath and is testimony to the suffering and hardship of all those caught up in war, and a tribute to the courage, compassion and care for others that transcend the barriers of race, class, creed and species.

 

 

Jenny witnessed at close hand the aftermath of war mainly through family members’ experiences: three in the First World War, five in the Second World War, one of whom became an RAF Bomber Command casualty, and one in Iraq.  She qualified in medicine, specialising in a diagnostic branch, chemical pathology, and retired in 1994.

 

 

Rev Dr D J Martin, probably because his first degree and PhD were in physical chemistry and he had written a textbook on thermodynamics, was also offered a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Heidelberg after Hitler came to power. It was years later that the family found out that it was a centre for atomic research in the run-upto the war and that he was probably one of a number of British scientists being head hunted.  In the event, he turned it down for reasons he never spoke of, obtaining another degree in Theology at Westminster College, Cambridge and going into the ministry.

 

 

On a visit to Northumberland in the autumn of 2012, Jenny visited the Flodden Peace Centre in Crookham, north Northumberland, where preparations were underway for Battle of Flodden commemorations in 2013.  Jenny followed them with great interest, especially the Peace & Reconciliation Garden formed at the church. 

 

 

      Jenny Martin holding a copy of the new publication 

                          entitled Aftermath.

 

 

This later became the inspiration for her adaptation of John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields and from which she also sought some contentment.  She said,I certainly derived some comfort from the Peace Garden and writing the book, especially having it endorsed so nicely by Dame Vera Lynn thanks to the teamwork of Bollington Library Writing Group, the Macclesfield branch of the Royal British Legion, SliverWood Books, and of course Dame Vera and her staff.”  This adaptation, entitled In Flodden Field, is featured in the collection, and as a sneak preview into the content, Jenny had agreed for us to reprint her poem here:

 

IN FLODDEN FIELD

 

In Flodden field the flowers grow

among the grasses, row on row

that mark our place; and in the sky

the birds, still softly singing, fly

unheard by us who lie below.

 

We are the Dead. Long years ago

we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

loved and were loved, and now we lie

in Flodden field.

 

Defuse the conflicts with your foe:

to you from wasted hands we throw

the Torch of Peace; yours to hold high.

If you break faith with us who die

we shall not sleep, though flowers grow

in Flodden field.

 

Inspired by World War I poet John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields

 

In 2013, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of

the Battle of Flodden between the English and

the Scots in which thousands of lives were lost in a few

hours, a Peace and Reconciliation Centre was established in

the village church of nearby Crookham, Northumberland.

 

 

 

Jenny is also the author of the Mining Memories poetry collection and also came runner up in the Arts and Literature Section of the 2011 Hunter Davies’ Lakeland Book of the Year Awards.

 

 

Aftermath goes on sale for £6.99 on 9 November 2014 from SilverWood Books publishers and from various online vendors such as Amazon and all proceeds will be donated to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.  The ISBN paperback number is 978-1-78132-248-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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