We are thrilled to announce the upcoming book launch of “A Private War: The Diaries of Frederick George Draper 1939-1945,” edited by Carol Draper. We are also very fortunate that Carol has selected Mallory Court Hotel and Spa – a place rich with cherished memories for her – as the venue for the official book launch on Friday, November 10, from 4pm to 7pm.
The lost diaries of a Leamington Second World War soldier have been published in a new book which will be launched at Mallory Court Hotel and Spa. Eighty years on from when they were first written, A Private War recounts war through the eyes of Frederick George Draper, who was just 20 years old when he first enlisted in 1939.
It was to be an experience that proved both exhilarating and often harrowing, with Frederick posted in Sri Lanka, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, India and finally as a ‘Chindit’ in Burma. His diaries sat in an old Ovaltine Rusk tin for decades until his daughter Carol Draper transcribed his accounts, which have been published through ZsaZsa Publishing.
She said: “Over the five years my dad served, he wrote a diary entry every single day which sat in a little tin for the last 80 years. It was only as we went to clear my parents’ house that I found them stuffed at the back of a bedroom cupboard with his Chindit hat, sign-up papers and other artefacts. As a child, I knew of the diaries, but when I retired, I thought I’m going to finally read them. The more I did, the more I thought this is such an important part of history which I wanted to share with my family, so I transcribed all 166,000 words over the course of a year. Like so many of his generation, my father never really spoke of his wartime experiences, particularly in the jungles of Burma, so for me, digesting his accounts, written by his hand all those decades ago, has felt like we have finally had the conversations we were never able to have while he was still alive. I was reading about this man who I only knew as my father – but this was a young man who was a delivery boy in a small village, thrown into something which is beyond thinking about. It was emotional reading about the horrors of war and what that brings, but it’s an important part of history that needs to be told.”
The book is a beautifully presented hardback, with over 500 pages and 63 photographs, and has been sponsored by Mallory Court Hotel and Spa.
Carol added: “I have been coming to Mallory Court for years. I love it. I said to my family, if we are going to launch this book, it has to be there. I lived around the corner from Mallory for years and I have known them for years, so Mallory is part of my family. I’m very grateful to them for sponsoring.”
Josefine Blomqvist, General Manager of Mallory Court Hotel, added: “We always love welcoming Carol and her family to Mallory Court, and we were honoured when she chose the hotel to launch A Private War.
“Not only has it been a real labour of love for her, but it is also a fascinating book which shines a light on a period of history which should never be forgotten.”
To purchase a signed copy of A Private War: The Diaries of Frederick George Draper 1939-1945, edited by Carol Draper, visit www.zsazsapublishing.com