Yesterday, (16th July), I found a small book in, of all places, the little shop at our local re-cycling tip.
The book is dated 1914 and is a "Manual of Instruction for The Royal Naval Sick Berth Staff". Inside the front cover is written in ink 'HMHS China' and on the side is B. BRACEWELL.
I searched for the Hospital Ship "HMHS China" on the Internet and found a wonderful photograph on the QARNNS website. Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Services has the most fascinating history, having been founded long before the First World War.
I have applied for permission to use the photograph and have also sent off e-mails to try and find out more about the Hospital Ship and the person who owned the Manual in the first place.
I will let you know how I get on.
In the meantime, I am busy reading Terence Zuber's wonderful book "The Battle of the Frontiers Ardennes 1914". A former US Army Major who studied in America, France and Germany, Zuber has walked the battleground and searched through original documents and eye-witness accounts. The book is amazing and definitely a must for all interested in the history of the First World War.