First World War story by Congresbury author on sale in Belgium

Author Clive Burlton

The story of a man who fought in the First World War and later worked on the city’s trams during the Second World War blitz has been snapped up for sale in Belgium close to the areas where he fought.

Trenches To Trams, written by Clive Burlton, who lives in Congresbury, near Bristol, is now on sale at bookshops close to the Menin Gate Memorial where every night the Last Post is sounded in honour of those who fought and died in the First World War.

The book is also being stocked by the In Flanders Field Museum and at other outlets around Ypres in Belgium where thousands of visitors every year go to learn more about the Great War.

The book tells the life story of Bristol Tommy George Pine in his own words and is illustrated with photographs and enhanced with painstaking research by Clive Burlton over the last decade.

Said Mr Burlton: “While I was putting the book together I only ever imagined it would sell in the Bristol area and perhaps in the Gloucestershire Regimental Museum. There has been fantastic interest from Belgium where there is still a huge affection for the British First World War soldiers.

“Because it is a story of one individual it has tremendous resonance with other people who are visiting Ypres to find out about their own ancestors. The bookshops there were really keen to stock the book, which contains some photographs and maps that have never been seen before.

“George could never have imagined that a book about his life would one day be on sale just a few miles from the trenches where he fought and where he was injured.

“Ypres is gearing up for the 100th anniversary of the First World War with museums in the area under-going transformations in the next year and it is fantastic that the efforts of the Gloucestershire Regiment will be reflected in those displays thanks to George writing down his memories.”

Trenches To Trams (£14.99) is published by Bristol publisher Tangent Books and was launched at Bristol’s M Shed in July. George Pine was the grandfather of Clive Burlton’s wife and wrote his memories at the age of 82 in the early 1970s. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his bravery in the First World War.