The story of how one man survived the horrors of the First World War will be told at a special event in Ellesmere later this month to mark World Book Night.

The Friends of Ellesmere Library will be turning the clock back one-hundred years at the town’s Boathouse restaurant on April 27, to remember the bloody conflict in an evening of reminiscence, poetry and music.

It will include a true-life presentation, based on the recollections of former corporal Bill Dallin, who escaped the battlefield slaughter despite being badly wounded twice and posted as missing presumed dead while serving with the Essex Regiment.

The story is based on a 5,000-word letter he sent to his grand-daughter, Friends’ committee member Kate Westgate, more than 60 years after the guns fell silent on the Western Front in November, 1918.

Mr Dallin wrote to tell Kate about his experiences after she asked him for help while teaching a group of secondary school students.

“My grandfather left school at 13, virtually uneducated,” she said.”He joined the Army at 15 when war broke out in 1914 and served until he was invalided out in 1917. He’d never written anything more than a postcard in his life and hardly spoke about life in the trenches. Then all those years later, about two years before he died, the floodgates suddenly opened and it all came pouring out in that letter to me.”

“His story is typical of so many who fought and died in that terrible war and that’s why we’ve adapted it to mark World Book Night in this centenary year of the Great War ending. He was one lucky ones, who lived to tell the tale.”

The Boathouse event, “One Hundred Years On,” will also include wartime songs, war poems and a special display of memorabilia collected by Oswestry war historian Simon Jarman. There will also be an exhibition featuring a roll of honour, listing the 67 local men and one woman who gave their lives in the conflict. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

Tickets are £20, to include a two-course meal and welcome drink, are available from Ismay’s Fashions, High Street, Ellesmere, or from Friends’ vice-chair, Sue Ardill on 01691 624331.