A FORMER Romsey resident is writing a book about the lives of her parents to raise money for a children’s charity.

Barbara Jackson, 78, is writing her book, The Girls He Left Behind, as part of a fundraising effort for The Edwina Mountbatten and Leonora Children’s Foundation.

Barbara said: “I have a friend here, and I edited his book which was his story of when he was a ranger in the Vietnam War, and he said to me one day ‘You know, the story of your parents would make a good book and you really ought to sit down and write it’. And I kind of thought ‘I don’t know, I don’t think I could do it really’.

Hampshire Chronicle: Barbara with her mother Joan (credit: Barbara Jackson)Barbara with her mother Joan (credit: Barbara Jackson) (Image: Barbara Jackson)“But then Covid came, and we had the lockdown, and I sort of thought ‘Oh, gosh. What could I do to pass the time away’ for the couple of months we were all locked down. And I decided, well, perhaps it would be an idea to create it because I had the time and, in a way, it was very helpful.

“And then Captain Tom did his fundraising and I thought, if I do write the book, if it raised some money I could make it a fundraising book.”

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The book tells the story of Barbara’s parents, Ronald and Joan, and their relationship.

The couple met at the age of 15 and fell in love, eventually getting engaged. Ronald, a soldier of the Royal Hampshire regiment, would later die during the battle for Caen during World War II after he went over to France as part of Operation Neptune.

Hampshire Chronicle: The 1st Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment (credit: Barbara Jackson)The 1st Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment (credit: Barbara Jackson) (Image: Barbara Jackson)The book also covers the villages that Barbara’s parents came from, Wickham and Locksheath, as well as what happened in the villages during the war.

Proceeds from the book will go to The Edwina Mountbatten and Leonora Children’s Foundation.

Based in Romsey, The Edwina Mountbatten and Leonora Children’s Foundation provides relief to sick, distressed or needy children all over the world.

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Speaking about her book, Barbara said: “I don’t know whether people will actually be that interested in it, so I won’t be terribly disappointed if it doesn’t make a lot of money, but hopefully my friends all buy it!

“Hopefully I should make some money!”

Barbara lived in North Baddesley for 13 years, before moving to Spain. 

Barbara said The Girls He Left Behind will be released in February and that it will be available to purchase on Amazon.