Helen Watts Author


First World War Folk Tales
Save 40% on signed copies
(offer applies to UK only)

First World War Folk Tales front cover


The Ghost of the Trenches front cover

The Ghost of the Trenches - published 10th April 2014 by A&C Black/Bloomsbury

Find out more

Legends of WWI

John 'Jack' Kirkpatrick Simpson (centre) and his donkey, Duffy, carrying a soldier who has been wounded in the leg during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915. John's story is featured in the children's collection, The Ghost of the Trenches

Two special WWI centenary collections
by Helen Watts and Taffy Thomas MBE

From 2014 to 2018, people all over the world are commemorating the centenary of the First World War. They are not only honouring those who lost their lives on the battlefield between 1914 and 1918, they are also remembering everyone who played a part in, or lived through, those troubled times. To mark the centenary, Helen Watts has teamed up with storyteller Taffy Thomas MBE to compile two special collections of World War I legends and folktales. The books show how elements of truth can become legend, how people often attempt to explain the strange and the mysterious through stories and tales, and how storytelling can ease the pain and the burden of war.


First World War Folk Tales

Published August 2014
Special offer - Save 40%
Buy a signed copy now for just £5.99 including p&p (offer applies to UK only)

This special hardback collection, published by The History Press, is targetted at an adult audience and shows how elements of truth can become legend, how people often attempt to explain the strange and the mysterious through stories and tales, and how storytelling can ease the pain and the burden of war. Chapters include: The Legends of the Fallen; Supernatural Sightings; Tales of Extraordinary Folk; Humour from a Dark Place and When Truth Becomes Legend. Interspersed among the folk tales are poems, diary extracts, soldiers' postcards home and song lyrics. 

Read the reviews


The Ghost of the Trenches

Published 10 April 2014

This paperback collection, published by A&C Black (an imprint of Bloomsbury), has been written for young readers age 8 and over and brings together folk tales, legends and ghost stories that grew up around the First World War. Fascinating, moving, sometimes scary, these are stories told by soldiers and the people they left behind, on both sides of the conflict. Trapped soldiers are saved by an army of angels, a haunted U-boat terrifies its crew, a village remembers a lost son, and an officer sees the ghosts of a long-finished war.

 "It's a gem of a book" Parents In Touch

 Read the reviews

 Book an Author Visit 

Buy now

NEW: Group Reading and Class Sets

Helen's children's books are now available for teachers to buy in Group Reading Sets (6 pupil copies plus a free teacher copy) and in Class Sets (24 pupil copies plus a free teacher copy). As well as your free teacher copy you can also make savings of up to 15% on RRP.
Find out more

More books by Taffy Thomas and Helen Watts

This is not the first time Helen and Taffy have worked together. In 2010, Helen edited and published Taffy's Coat Tales, a paperback collection of 19 tales from the storyteller's unique storytelling coat. Find out more

In 2013, Helen edited and produced Taffy's collection of Tales and Trails from the Storyteller's Garden, Grasmere - a Heritage Lottery Fund project which resulted in a pocket-sized, spiral-bound book of five Lake District walks, each accompanied by a tale linked to locations along the route. Find out more

WWI Primary Pack - LCPWWI resources for the primary classroom

If you are exploring the World War I centenary in the classroom, look out for information on a comprehensive, cross-curricular WWI resource pack for primary schools which Helen was written for LCP.