The moving story of two brothers who fought in the First World War through the real letters, complete with hand-drawn cartoons, they sent to their sisters. Like so many families across the world, the Semple family were split apart by the First World War. While William and Robert were fighting the Germans in France, their younger sisters, Mabel and Jelly (Eileen), had to carry on with school back in England. To keep in touch, they wrote letters. The sisters treasured these letters, which gave snapshots of their brothers' lives as soldiers. Many of the letters included cartoon illustrations to amuse the sisters. The book presents these letters with their illustrations. After each letter the author has written a short commentary, drawing out the facts about the war that can be taken from it. Altogether the book is a powerful and moving record of one family's experience of the First World War.
Born in Suffolk, Sarah Ridley lives on the Suffolk/Essex border and is a writer and editor of educational books for children and young people. Recently, a life-long interest in history has led her to write books about the First World War, inspired by reading letters written by soldiers who served in the conflict. Brothers at War tells the story of uncovering the material held in her own family's archives. Dear Jelly sets letters written by soldier brothers to their younger sisters at its core. Teenage children keep Sarah busy when she isn't tied to her computer, and she relaxes by walking along river estuaries close to her home.