A member and co-ordinator of the Watford Writers group has published a new historical fiction novel.

Duty of Candour is the first of a trilogy by Ian Welland and builds to the events of Friday, January 28, 1916 on the Western Front in Vimy, France, where Captain Edward Stanton-Ross, 3rd Earl of Hanwell, is about to lead his comrades in arms over the top.

The Great War has been raging for 18 months and he is consumed with misery whilst at the same time venting contempt for the strategic military leadership located behind the lines.

Watford Observer: The front cover of Duty of Candour

The art historian and lecturer said: “Edward Stanton Ross, 3rd Earl of Hanwell, is part of a group of young ‘Oxbridge’ enthusiasts called The Coterie. Renowned for their antics, the group succeeded the previous generation of similar, called The Souls.

“The book is set in the period leading up to and the outbreak of the First World War, presenting a carefree picture of life and loves, parties and politics, in the early years of the 20th Century. The fictitious memoir is of a born and bred aristocrat, and a natural born leader of his time.

“Ross is actually a composite of three real people and brought together to fashion an individual of high intelligence and morals, though with occasional chinks in his armour!

“Hanwell is a fictitious village in the wilds of Wiltshire, close to the town of Devizes. Ross is the Lord of the Manor and has his ancestral home at Hanwell House.

“Not only is he appreciative of his duties to his community, he is also abundantly clear on his duty to King and Country.”

Duty of Candour is the first of a trilogy of memoirs of Edward Stanton-Ross.

Published by The Altair Press, copies of the book can be purchased from Ian at ianwelland@hotmail.co.uk.

The book is priced at £9.99 (+£2.70pp).