North Sea Shells, by CJ Richardson

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Martha, a young woman living in Hartlepool at the time of the First World War, is married to George and they have a three-year-old son, William.

In December 1914, German warships bombard Hartlepool killing hundreds of people. Martha’s parents and George’s grandfather are killed. George’s brother, Albert returns from Scotland for the funeral. Albert is an old flame who left Martha in 1910. The brothers decide to sign up. Due to a leg injury, Albert is turned away and only George is accepted.

Martha is introduced to a non-militant branch of the suffragette society by her Godmother, Sarah and becomes involved in the ‘Right to Serve’ campaign.

Martha gets a job at the munitions factory where Albert is the new foreman. She is worried that she may still be in love with him as they become close again.

When George arrives home suffering from shell shock, he struggles to be accepted into society as his condition is not understood.

Albert denounces his brother as a coward in front of everyone and claims William to be his son.

We finally learn that George has been risking his life daily to rescue soldiers from no man’s land.

Martha tells Albert the truth about William before choosing the right brother.

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