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A book of poetry by Nick Matthews, Sandwich, marks centenary of first world war

A book of war poetry by a Sandwich poet has been illustrated by local artists and photographers in the area.

When Will We Ever Learn features poetry by Nick Matthews and art by Bob Martin, who also helps to organise the medieval fairs in Sandwich.

Nick Matthews, 62, of New Romney Place, details parts of World War One and the Somme and has taken inspiration from his family history.

It is also dedicated to the thousands who lost their lives in the horrendous battles, in particular it commemorates his grandfather Sidney Bushell who fought in the 38th Welsh Division at Mametz Wood and won the Military Medal for bravery.

The book also commemorates Sidney’s youngest brother Albert who was killed after two days in the south of Arras.

The overall dedication for the book is by the late John Giles, who lived in Ash and founded The Western Front Association, who kindly helped in the research for the book.

Mr Matthews said: “It’s written out of respect for all those poor soldiers rather than for any kind of profit.”

He explained that as a former English teacher at Sandwich Technology School, literature had always played a big part in his life.

The book also has photography by Dave Batchelor, an expert photographer and mechanic and Simon Matthews, Nick’s younger brother and another successful photographer. The calligraphy in the book is by professional artist and calligrapher Julia Baxter, who runs courses in calligraphy.

When Will We Ever Learn is available now for £15 from the cafe by the Guildhall, and the Sandwich Card Gallery in King Street.

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