Two tales of warfare set the scene for Poppy Factory novel

Two tales of warfare set the scene for Poppy Factory novel

The Poppy Factory: A new book from Liz Trenow

Royal approval: The Poppy Factory in Richmond

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The world famous Poppy Factory has become the inspiration of a new novel, with warfare spanning 100 years the backdrop.

In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, author Liz Trenow has released a book based on the Richmond charity, which provides work for disabled war veterans.

Mrs Trenow came up with the idea for the book, titled the Poppy Factory, after being moved by Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in her hometown.

The ceremonies inspired her to find out more about the symbolism of the poppy, which was initiated by an American and a French woman and based on the famous In Flanders Fields poem.

The author later discovered Major George Howson, a World War One veteran, set up the Poppy Factory in Petersham Road.

Mrs Trenow said: "When I started finding out more about the work of the Poppy Factory I discovered that although ex-service people still make millions of poppies each year by hand, the charity also has a much wider remit.

"Its role is to help disabled veterans back in to work in many different types of jobs all over the country and I knew that as well as the World War One theme I would have to bring the story up to date."

The book tells the different stories of two soldiers returning from wars 100 years apart and the difficulties they and their families face; one, a female army medic returning from the frontline in Afghanistan, and the other an infantry solider coming home from the trenches.

Mrs Trenow said: "At its heart, the Poppy Factory is a story and about how love can help heal the devastating wounds, both physical and mental, that warfare can cause.

"It is also a tribute to the extraordinary courage of serving soldiers through the ages. We may not always agree with the premise of war, but you can never deny the incredible courage and dedication of those in our armed forces."

The Poppy Factory, published by Harper Collins Avon, is released on August 28 and donations will be given to the Poppy Factory in Richmond to help it continue its work helping disabled veterans back into work.

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