Newton Stewart History Teacher Turns Author

A local history teacher has continued his passion for his specialist subject into retirement by writing his first novel set in the First World War.


Inspired by research he’d done into some of names on Galloway war memorials, Lawrie Johnston has written Who Served Well, a novel exploring the devastating effects of the war through the eyes of three young friends.


Lawrie was the Principal Teacher of History and then Humanities at the Douglas Ewart High School in Newton Stewart before taking early retirement. He’ll be returning to the area for a special event in Wigtown during the first weekend of the National Book Town’s annual Festival.


Lou Martin, co-owner of New Chapter Books in Wigtown said: “We’re very excited to be holding our first literary event and delighted to be welcoming Lawrie whose first book is receiving excellent reviews.”


A regular contributor to non-fiction local history books, Lawrie had researched many aspects of the First World War including the background to names on war memorials in Galloway, specifically those in Creetown and Bargrennan. These stories gave him the idea to create the fictional characters of Andrew McDowall, Tam Murdoch and Kathleen Marr who appear in the book.


Louise said: “It is a testament to Lawrie’s research that the reader becomes so deeply immersed in those events and battles of the war where local Galloway men and women made a significant contribution. The essence of the novel is deeply rooted in the people and places of Galloway.”


Who Served Well has been published by Matador and to hear more about the research for the book as well as the experience of writing and publishing join Lawrie in conversation at New Chapter Books in South Main Street, Wigtown on Sunday 25th September at 3pm. This is a free event.

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