Windermere and Grasmere in the Great War by Ruth Mansergh, £12

A POIGNANT testimony to the people of Windermere and Grasmere who sought to find normality in a reality so far removed from anything they had known before.

This fascinating book is full of interesting stories, including Windermere’s setting as a watery runway and rumours that a German airship was operating from a secret base near Grasmere. It takes a detailed look at the many characters of the area who played their part in the Great War such as the graduates of the Lakes Flying Company, the boatmen who sewed bags for sand, Cobby the horse, the railwaymen and prisoner of war Frederick Mallinson.

It is also a really informative guide to Cumbria’s war memorials, including St Martin’s next to the Old England Hotel, Windermere, which has more memorials than any other church in Cumbria, including the cathedral at Carlisle.