Diney Costeloe - The Ashgrove


The Lost Soldier by Diney Costeloe
Previously published as The Ashgrove

“…a powerful and moving account of the brutality of war itself.”
Tony Benn

From the trenches of World War One to a sleepy village in modern England, the dramas and cruelties of the past come back to life…

Eight ash trees were planted in 1921 as a memorial to the men from the village of Charlton Ambrose who were killed in World War One. Now the Ashgrove is under threat from developers, and the village is torn between the need for more housing and the wish to preserve the memorial.

Rachel Elliott, a journalist on the Belcaster Chronicle, is reporting the story and uncovers a mystery….Eight men and nine trees - in whose memory is the ninth tree and who planted it?

Intrigued, Rachel does some research, but it is only when she is given a diary and some letters that she begins, at last, to unravel the true story behind the ninth tree. Written by a young girl, Molly Day, nursing the wounded in a hospital in France, the diary and letters tell of her life in the hospital and her love for Tom Carter, one of her patients.

As the story of Molly and Tom unfolds, Rachel discovers her own links with the past and with the Ashgrove itself and this makes her determined to save the Ashgrove as a memorial to all the men who lost their lives.

“…powerful witness to a grave injustice”
Martin Bell OBE

“Diney Costeloe has tackled an important subject. We should never forget this terrible injustice!”
John Humphrys