Letters sent by a British Army officer held captive by the IRA 100 years ago during the Irish fight for independence are being posted online.
Brig Gen Cuthbert Lucas, 41, was fishing on the River Blackwater near Fermoy in Ireland on 26 June 1920 when he was captured by the IRA.
His granddaughter Ruth Wheeler is publishing the letters he wrote to his pregnant wife during that time.
She said she thought it was an “important story” that should be told.
Gen Lucas, who was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and later retired to Stevenage, was able to post letters and even receive them, addressed to the IRA, while in captivity
Mrs Wheeler said he was “frustrated because he wanted to get back to my grandmother (Joan Holdsworth, referred to as Poppy or Pip)”.
“He was concerned about her because she was about to give birth. I think it was my grandmother that gave him the impetus to escape,” she added.
On 30 July 1920, following more than a month of captivity, Gen Lucas escaped after his IRA guards relaxed the security around him.
The letters show Gen Lucas, a veteran of the Boer War and World War One, had struck up a rapport with his captors and said the people of Ireland were “very kind”.
Despite the fact he was being hidden by the IRA from British forces, he was given permission to indulge in various outdoor activities.
“There were croquet matches, tennis lessons, salmon poaching,” said Mrs Wheeler.
She is publishing the letters on the website Letters from Captivity.
Excerpts from Gen Lucas’ secret diary, photographs and newspaper reports will also be shared.
“The history of my grandfather has been something I’ve been passionate about. It’s the story that’s important to me and I feel that it should be told,” Mrs Wheeler said.