'My father and his WW2 diaries'

A NEW book by a Portstewart woman, follows the facinating story of a Coleraine-born gunner, who volunteered for military service in the 1939.

Diana Kirkpatrick tells the story of her father, Harry Cummins,

who was initially posted with the Coleraine Light Anti-Aircraft Battery Unit in 1940.

"I didn't know my father had kept a diary of his time during the

war until after he died," Diana told The Times.

"I found the extracts some time after he died, and I was fascin-

cated by them.

"At first I didn't know what to do with them, then a friend encour-

aged me to research them from a local history point of view."

Diana spent two years researching, and decided to write a book

detailing the progress of her dad during the Second World War.

"They were so beautifully written, but as the war went on the notes

got very brief, and really just detailed his next post.

"I got in touch with the Battery and Regimental diaries archive,

and they were able to provide me with vital background information

to explain my father's extracts."

The book tells the story of Harry's posting to the desert war in

North Africa and his service with a Scottish Battery in the Italian

Campaign of 1943-45.

His diary detail his experiences, from the intense heat in the

desert to the extreme cold of the Italian winters.

He espresses feelings of sadness following the death of his comrades and the book also includes letters and newspapers from home.

This fascinating story does not intend to provide a blow-by-blow

account of the war in the Mediterranean theatre.

Rather it pieces together information, using carefully researched archive Battery and Regimental Diaries, in support of Gunner

Cummins' notes.

The book is well illustrated with black and white photographs,

maps and also colour memorabilia.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Army

Benevolent Fund.

The book is currently on sale from Waterstones and Eason in Coleraine, and newsagents in Portstewart and Ballymoney