23 April 2015, The Tablet

In the line of fire

by Rachel Billington

The disastrous action begun a century ago today by British and French troops against the Turks and their German allies, in which half a million men were killed or wounded, is the backdrop to a family tragedy at the heart of a new novel Gallipoli would probably be just another disastrous campaign of the First World War for me had not my grandfather, Brigadier-General Thomas Pakenham, Earl of Longford, fought and died there. Tom Longford, as he was usually called, was a kind, interested father who wrote constantly to his six children, all under 13 when he died, often illustrating his pages with little drawings. One to my father, Frank, nine years old when Tom died, gives tips on rowing on the garden lake in Ireland and is illustrated by a little boy catching a crab and falling backwards.Fr
Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login