Frank Sidney WW1 veteran CREDIT SSAFA

Revealed: WW1 Veteran's Wartime Memoirs

The daughter of a Great War veteran is sharing her father's published memoirs to raise money for SSAFA.

Frank Sidney WW1 veteran CREDIT SSAFA

The daughter of a First World War British Army veteran is sharing her father's memoirs to help raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.

Frank Sidney served during the war in the Royal Artillery and kept a journal detailing all of his experiences.

Now his daughter, Christine Dieppe, has had his memoirs published and is donating copies to raise money for SSAFA.

The youngest son of four, Frank joined the Army at 17 because he didn't want to miss out, and went on to fight in France, including at the Somme, and then on to Italy in 1918.

A keen artist, he would draw as well as write while on night duty at his post manning the wireless.

A drawing of a map from Frank's memoirs (Picture: SSAFA).

Christine says that it was over these eventful times on the frontlines that he learned to draw.

"He had a wicked sense of humour, and he would tell all these stories," she said. "He was a keen artist and even started drawings of the first tanks.

"He used to draw on night duty whilst manning the field telephones and, later, the wireless.

"His Commanding Officer went on to illustrate Winnie the Pooh and I think that is how he learned to draw.

A young Frank Sidney after enlisting for the First World War (Picture: SSAFA).

"He went through everything in the war; his best friend was killed.

"In his diary he talks about where he was fighting all the time although it stops at 1918, and we can't find anything about his time in Italy.

"His mum was very lucky and all four of her boys returned home from the war."

The SSAFA supported Frank's wife after his death and Christine now hopes that her father's detailed account of his experiences – The Diary of Frank Sidney Fisher 1897-1977 – can help raise money for the Armed Forces Charity.

"When my dad died, my mum was on her own," she added.

Frank Sidney's drawing of a tank from his memoirs (Picture: SSAFA).

"She had a stroke and needed to find a home. We had just had a new baby and didn't have the space or the money.

"Someone suggested that we contacted SSAFA and we had a visit from a lovely SSAFA volunteer.

"He asked how we could prove my dad was in the Forces and I showed him his medals. He said, 'Right that's it, that's proof'.

"Because of what Dad did and his service, SSAFA helped support my mum for four-and-a-half, nearing five years, in a care home.

"I am so grateful to SSAFA; they would come and see how we were doing, and I got a letter from SSAFA when my mum passed away. What a wonderful thing for people to do."

SSAFA provides welfare, health and support services for the UK military's serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

Cover image: Frank Sidney in Italy during the First World War (Picture: SSAFA).