Essex: Author wants book sales to pay for First World War hero’s statue

Carole McEntee-Taylor has written a book about WWI Machine Gun Corps member Herbert Columbine, who w

Carole McEntee-Taylor has written a book about WWI Machine Gun Corps member Herbert Columbine, who was awarded the Victoria Cross. - Credit: Archant

An author has pledged that profits from sales of her new book will go towards paying for a statue commemorating the exploits of an Essex First World War hero.

Carole McEntee-Taylor’s latest work, called Herbert Columbine VC, was published in August and details the life of Private Herbert Columbine from Walton-on-the-Naze, who was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after he died aged 24 in action in France in March 1918. The hero was decorated for holding an isolated gun position for hours against waves of enemy attacks before eventually being killed by a bomb.

Pte Columbine is a local hero in his home town and has had a leisure centre and road named after him. A 7ft-tall bronze statue commemorating his bravery is currently being created by world-renowned sculptor John Doubleday and is due to be erected on Walton seafront next August.

Fundraisers have already collected the lion’s share of the £60,000 needed to pay for the statue but Mrs McEntee-Taylor, from Tollesbury, hopes she can help them with their efforts to reach the total required.

She says she was moved to make the gesture after being inspired by Pte Columbine’s story.

She said: “I started off with just a grainy photograph but as I found out more I realised that he represents the bravery shown by all the young men who died in that war.”

The author, who also works at Colchester’s Military Corrective Training Centre, has so far sold 300 copies of the book, which is published by Pen and Sword and can be bought on Amazon priced £19.99.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War we are building an archive of photos of war memorials in Suffolk and north Essex. Is there one in your village? Take a picture and upload it today at iwitness and help us pay tribute to the fallen heros.