A NOTEBOOK detailing the journey of a war widow from Brecon to see her husband’s grave in northern France following the first World War is being donated to Brecknock Museum.

History boffin Harley Simpson, 76, who now lives in Devon but is originally from Brecon, is donating the notebook which was written in 1922 by his grandmother Florence Morris.

She was one of the first war widows invited to see her husband’s grave on a scheme set up by the Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA).

Mr Simpson said: “The scheme which was set up the YMCA offered widows of soldiers in World War One to see the graves of the deceased and the battlefields in Europe. It was quite unusual at the time, but she was one of the first to do it.”

Florence’s husband, James Morris, who was a tunneller with the Royal Engineers was killed in action at Vimy Ridge on Tuesday, August 8 in 1918.

Florence, who travelled to Armentieres to visit the Pay De Hem cemetery at Flanders Field, described a lot of what she experienced in detail.

Mr Simpson said his grandmother travelled the same route to the cemetery that James would have taken to go to war. He also said he found it interesting how she mentions the battlefields which were still being cleared.

Brecknock Museum in Brecon is hoping to set up a new exhibition for when it reopens in summer next year about those who lived during the war, and the donations from Harley will be a significant part of it.

Nigel Blackamore, the senior curator at the museum, said: “It was such a pleasure to meet Mr Simpson and to hear all about his grandmother’s incredibly journey. The opportunity to give his gifts a permanent home at the museum is a wonderful privilege.

“We will take care of them for future generations and I look forward to displaying them and their story within the new Brecknock Museum galleries next year.”

For more on this story see this week’s Brecon and Radnor Express.