Chance discovery at Bridlington School inspires book

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A LOCAL historian and author is penning a new book which has been inspired by a historically significant discovery at Bridlington School.

As previously reported a collection of letters written by 18-year-old Second Lieutenant Topham (Toppy) Becher Dabridgecourt and dating back to the First World War were discovered purely by chance during a reshuffle at the school.

Now Bridlington historian Mike Wilson, 76, of Burstall Hill is using the letters and further research on Topham for his latest book entitled ‘Nothing More to Say...’

The book is still a work in progress but he hopes to have it finished in time to officially launch it at the school on April 15 which would have been Topham’s birthday.

And despite having written several books about the life and times of the town through the ages Mike said this one is a little bit different.

“I have absolutrely enjoyed working on this one. I love doing my Bridlington books and this one especially as it has got a purpose behind it, not just for me but for other people, which is even better,” said Mike.

He hopes the book will make the letters even more accessible to young students at the school and beyond, rather than run the risk of the original letters being handled.

“The idea is the children can read his letters but the originals won’t get destroyed. I want them to be accesible to everyone,” he added

Mike has also photographed every page of the book which he plans to upload onto a CD to be viewed using a computer.

Topham attended Bridlington School around 100 years ago and served as a second lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment.

He experienced 99 days of service at home, in France and in Flanders until he died in January 1916 after being caught by a German sniper.

The letters, which were written to his family and possibly his girlfriend, document Topham’s time spent serving in the First World War between October 1915 and January 1916.

The letters have proved to be a valuable education tool for the school’s A-level history students who have been able to examine them in detail and read them out for a programme which was aired on Radio Humberside.