Thank you to Anna and Maggie, the mother-daughter team who entrusted me with the story of James, their recently deceased father and grandfather.
This book tells the story of a quite remarkable man named James. It’s his life story as told through his wartime letters from 1942-1945. Whether telling of his quest to become a pilot (which was ultimately unsuccessful) to falling in love (which was ultimately quite successful!) he liked to sign off his letters, Always, James.
Most of the letters were written to his beloved, Anna, who he met right before enlisting and finally married while on furlough in 1944. Trust me, he writes her some of the sweetest darn letters you’ve ever seen – I shed more than a few tears reading them!
(a note about the book details: this is a 115 page, 13×11 personal history book, with custom artwork on the spine, foil stamping on the fabric cover, and a hand-stitched CD pocket on the back inside cover.)
Now for a peak at the book. On the cover we used James’ signature for the book title and a collage of his envelopes for the spine.
We started the book with a timeline to give context for the story. The top of the timeline shows the events in James’ life, while the bottom features the events of World War II.
From there, we started taking excerpts from the letters and featuring them in different chapters. This is the “Sense of Duty” chapter.
Here are a few of the main chapter pages.
And a few more of my favorite pages. We tried to use a few of the actual letters because the handwriting is so beautiful, even if it is hard to read!
And now to await Anna and Maggie’s report. They’re currently at their family reunion where they are presenting copies of the book to an unsuspecting but sure-to-be-blown away family!
What a gift.
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