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Writing From the Jaws of Death: The First World War Diaries of E W Hornung

February 8 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Writing From the Jaws of Death: The First World War Diaries of E W Hornung
collated by Mark Eccleston

120 years ago, the public imagination was caught by the appearance on the literary scene of the "gentleman crook" A J Raffles. Everyone has heard of Raffles, but his creator E W Hornung is now perhaps best known as the brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Willie Hornung's newly published war diary will be launched on the 8 February 2018, at the Cavalry & Guards Club in Piccadilly. 

Hornung’s great-great-great-niece, Kim Sherwood, will speak about his response to the death of his only son, Oscar, in action in July 1915. Aged fifty-one – short sighted, asthmatic and slightly corpulent – Hornung left for France, volunteering at a YMCA Canteen a short distance behind the Front Line. The war for him was intensely personal, as he sought out his son’s friends, and the children of friends back home, writing: ‘Such a nice boy – such a small war!’

Hornung's diary opens a new and significant window on him and his place in a changing world, as a generation of writers – from Kipling to Conan Doyle – experienced unprecedented loss.

In Writing from the Jaws of Death we learn how, from war and loss, Hornung forged a new self. Marked by a boundless energy, in turn moving, harrowing, and deftly comic, Hornung's diary gives us ‘humanity naked’, and finds in it solace and joy.


Kim Sherwood is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of the West of England. Her debut novel, Testament, will appear in July 2018 with riverrun/Quercus.

For more information please visit – www.memorialsforakingandacountry.co.uk/

This event will be held at the Cavalry & Guards Club on Thursday 8 February 2018 at 7 p.m.

Tickets to include a reception after the talk are £20 per person, available from Eventbrite at  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/writing-from-the-jaws-of-death-the-first-world-war-diaries-of-ew-hornung-tickets-41074812871utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button.

All proceeds will go towards the War Memorial Windows being dedicated to the Portuguese fallen of the First World War, and to the last King of Portugal. This event forms part of a programme of several educational events being held throughout 2018, to remember Portugal’s contribution in the First World War, “Memorials for a King and a Country.”


February 8
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Cavalry & Guards Club
127 Piccadilly
London, W1J 7PX United Kingdom
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