War-time chaplain who gave troops ‘one final gasper’

Historian and author Linda Parker has been featured on the world’s most popular English-language news website, the Mail Online.

The newspaper has covered new research by the respected World War One historian that reveals that WW1 hero Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, popularly known as Woodbine Willie, was so generous that he gave away close to one million cigarettes to sick or wounded troops.

Kennedy, who died in 1929 at the age of 45, is arguably, the most famous army chaplain of the First World War. He received his nickname through his habit of handing out cigarettes and Bibles to troops on the front lines, and served in the trenches himself, receiving the Military Cross for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty”.

In the article, which you can read HERE, Parker – who recently published an acclaimed biography of Woodbine Willie, A Seeker After Truthscalculates that he spent an incredible £43,000 on cigarettes during the Great War, leaving him as poor when he left the army as when he entered it.

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