Artist to launch Grandad’s War book during Remembrance weekend

Amanda Reynolds with her grandad Stephen Simpson in 2004. She has written a book about his military experiences called Grandad's War.
Amanda Reynolds with her grandad Stephen Simpson in 2004. She has written a book about his military experiences called Grandad's War.

A local artist has written a book about her war hero grandad and will launch it during Remembrance weekend.

Amanda C Reynolds has penned Grandad’s War about the military experiences of the late Sgt Stephen Simpson who fought in some of the key campaigns of World War Two.

17-year-old Stephen Simpson at Caterham Barracks when he started his training in 1941.

17-year-old Stephen Simpson at Caterham Barracks when he started his training in 1941.

The mum-of-three, from Allerton Bywater, interviewed her grandad before he died aged 85 and has spent the last year collating his vast tales of derring-do,

The 39-year-old author, said: “I have written Grandad’s War. This is the true account of Sgt Stephen Simpson, my grandad, and his life as a Coldstream Guard during World War Two, fighting on the frontline.

“It actually started off as a family project back in 2004 but has grown its own legs and developed into something much bigger. I am launching his book and exhibiting his personal collection of war time artefacts over Remembrance Weekend.”

The book will be launched on Saturday at The Old School in Allerton Bywater during a weekend-long exhibition on his military days.

Some of Sgt Stephen Simpson's military memorabilia

Some of Sgt Stephen Simpson's military memorabilia

Through a collection of personal interviews, Grandad’s War tells the story of 17-year-old’s journey from Micklefield Colliery to the battlegrounds of North West Europe and key campaigns like Operation Goodwood.

Mrs Reynold’s said: “It is a window to another world. The book/exhibition features more than 200 wartime artefacts which were discovered in a security deposit box after grandad’s death in 2009.”

The collection includes items like squadron photographs, military insignia, medals, a Nazi iron cross and pin badge, propaganda booklets and newspaper clippings.

She said: “They all add a very valuable, visual dimension to one man’s personal time in hell. I am so passionate about the importance of his story, keeping the history alive, delivered by my generation to the next generation.”

Grandad’s War is published by Matador. It costs £9,99 (including p&p) from www.amandareynolds.co.uk/shop/.

The book launch of Grandad’s War will be toasted with glasses of champagne and pints of John Smith’s.

The story about the military experiences of the late Mr Simpson will be unfurled at 1.30pm on Saturday at The Old School on Vicars Terrace, Allerton Bywater. Former collier Mr Simpson wasn’t much of champagne drinker. He and his comrades preferred John Smith’s, so some has been drafted in for the occasion.

The launch event will take place during an exhibition about Mr Simpson’s wartime exploits, which runs from Friday to Remembrance Sunday at the same venue. The exhibition, which is open from 10am to 4pm daily, will feature more than 200 artefacts including A Coldstream Guard’s red tunic uniform with all Mr Simpson’s medals on it.