The Ghost of the Trenches front cover

The Ghost of the Trenches and other stories from the First World War by Helen Watts and Taffy Thomas (A&C Black, ISBS 9781472907875) 

Buy now



The Historical Novel Society

The stories are engagingly told by Helen Watts and professional story-teller, Taffy Thomas. The subject matter is serious: war, death, and the triumph of the human spirit. The tone manages to be both informal without being in the least bit prosy, yet it has a certain gravitas, and it is perfectly in tune with the subject. The authors have obviously gone to a great deal of trouble to get the tone just right and, in my view, they have succeeded splendidly. This book is aimed at boys of 9 plus who enjoy war stories with a bit of added mystery. However, in my view, girls would enjoy it as well.
Elizabeth Hawsley

I liked this book a lot, since it just wasn’t one long boring story but a lot of good interesting stories, which could either chill you to the bone or make you laugh out loud. I really loved how they mixed poems with stories so you didn’t get tired of the stories.
Louis McNulty, aged 11

Read both of the reviews in full on the Historical Novel Society website

Lancashire Telegraph

From the haunted U-boat to the ghost of the trenches, Watts and Thomas have brought together a compelling and moving collection of ghost stories from both sides of the conflict.

Read the full review

Parents in Touch

This unusual and highly enjoyable collection of accounts gives us a new perspective on the war - and will leave the reader pondering over the possible solutions to the mysteries. During and after World War I, people created hundreds of legends and stories round it, telling of the sadness, the heroism, the deaths. This intriguing collection has a variety of ghost stories and mysteries from both sides of the conflict, from the haunted U-boat to the ghost of the trenches. It's a gem of a book which brings fresh ideas to discuss.

See the review on the Parents In Touch website

Facts & Fiction magazine (#90, August 2014)

Look in any bookshop just now and you will see the shelves are awash with titles about the First World War; reminiscences, battles described and campaigns explained. Many of them are written by military historians or are personal memories, sadly told now at second hand. But where are the folktales, the legends and ghost tories that grew up around the awful events of the Great War? The answer is, they are in this lovely book by Helen Watts and Taffy Thomas ... the book contains some seventeen stories and poems with an intended audience of young adults. But in fact readers of all ages will find something to delight them in its pages ... The introductions only add to the enjoyment of these stories from the First World War, and demonstrate how stories can shine when retold by two such fine storytellers.

Click here to see the full review 

Lovereading 4 Kids 

This is a collection that brings together folk tales, legends and ghost stories that grew up around the First World War.  Fascinating, moving, sometimes scary, these are the stories told by soldiers and the people they left behind, on both sides of the conflict from the haunted U-boat to the ghosts of the trenches.

See the review on the Lovereading 4 Kids website

Stratford-upon-Avon Herald 

A special collection which brings together folk tales, legends and ghost stories that grew up around the Great War.

Read the full feature in the Stratford Herald