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From Bognor to Bishop Otter and beyond: love and loss in the First World War

THE life of a long-serving Red Cross nurse from Chichester will be retold TODAY using the letters she shared with soldiers fighting in the First World War.

The experiences of former Bishop Otter student Dorothy French, who lived between 1895 and 1989, will be illustrated at the free event tonight, Wednesday 25 February.

It will be led by Professor (Emeritus) Tom Beaumont James, from the University of Winchester, who recently compiled the biographies of 459 men from the city who gave their lives to the war.

The seminar falls into four parts: Ms French’s family in Gloucestershire and early life in Sussex, correspondence with Captain Billy Burditt, killed in 1917, and their experiences during the war, her later life in Sussex as a student at Bishop Otter, and a teacher at Sidlesham, and then as Justice of the Peace.

It closes with a consideration of the war service of her young uncle Lieutenant Tom Tate, of the Sussex Regiment, who was killed in 1916, and his acquaintance with the author of the famed Undertones of War book, which described the services of the regiment.

The talk, which is free for the public as well as University staff and students, starts at 5pm in room G229 at Bishop Otter campus, PO19 6PE.

To find out more contact programme administrator Laura Brown at