Woodbine Willie, copyright Palamedes PR

The cigarette saint of No Man’s Land

There has been further national exposure for historian and author Linda Parker concerning her new research into World War One hero Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy.

The Daily Mirror, Metro and Daily Mail have all reported on Dr Parker’s findings that 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 has gone down in history as the most famous army chaplain of the First World War. He got his nickname through his habit of handing out Woodbine cigarettes and Bibles to troops on the front lines.

Parker – whose acclaimed biography of Woodbine Willie, A Seeker After Truths, is currently riding high in the Amazon charts, calculates that he spent a staggering £43,000 on cigarettes during the Great War.

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