Gill Arbuthnott : A Secret Diary of the First World War

P4/5 English

What was the First World War really like? Step into the boots of 14-year-old James Marchbank and experience the most important, peculiar, poignant and revolting bits of World War 1. Inspired by the real-life diary of a Scottish boy soldier, this book tells readers why rat hunting became a popular hobby in the trenches, how parachuting pigeons helped at war, why a really good friend would rub whale oil on your feet – and what it actually felt like to be a teenager at war. Join author Gill Arbuthnott to find out more about writing non-fiction, and about James Marchbank’s extraordinary true story.

School events:

Tues 6 Nov, 10am : An Lanntair

Tues 6 Nov, 1.45pm : Tarbert Community Library

To book a Faclan Oga event for your class, contact our Education and Outreach team on 01851 708493 or email

Supported by the Scottish Book Trust Live Literature programme.