king's shilling

He Took The King's Shilling

For The Love Of Amelia

Marion Cunningham


I actually started writing For the Love of Amelia way back in 1976 just after my grandparents had passed away. Now here I am, in 2014 and I’ve only just completed it.

The book is now available on Amazon where you can look through the first few pages or it can be purchased direct from the publishers at the link below.

It is a true story that I hope will appeal to both men and women because not only is it about the First World War, it also tells of a family living in Walthamstow, East London and their lives during the years that followed.

It was never intended to become a book as such, my thoughts at the time were to try to record everything I knew and remembered about my grandparents so they would never be forgotten and to keep their memory alive, not only for my own three children but for the generations that may follow. I have always loved storytelling, first to my own children and then to my grandchildren who loved to listen to my stories about the fairies who lived in the big tree in Nanny’s front garden. I only wish that I had written all these stories down.

Many times I thought I had completed For the Love of Amelia but then as I remembered other anecdotes and events, the more there was to write. As we all know, the years can pass by far too quickly and finishing my project was often put on a back burner. However with this year being the Centenary of the Great War it gave me the incentive I needed to complete it.

About me: I was born in Walthamstow in 1942 and attended first as an infant, Mission Grove School just off the High Street and almost opposite Manze’s Pie and Mash shop which in my opinion, is the very best pie and mash shop anywhere. Then when my family moved to the newly built Priory Court Council Estate in 1949, I attended Roger Ascham Junior School in Billet Road.

Later as I grew older I went to Blackhorse Road Secondary Girls’ School which later became Willowfield Secondary Modern School for Girls. I never liked school, failed my 11 plus and my school report for the last term of 1957 states that where English composition was concerned, my results were very poor having only obtained 32% of the marks possible and I should try harder. Well, Miss Endicott, I hope I have improved since then.

I have been widowed for the past nine years and have lived at Canvey Island in Essex since 1960 and now have my own lovely family who all live close by.

Marion Cunningham, February 2014

copies of the book

‘He took the King’s Shilling for the love of Amelia’
Available for £7.99 from Fast Print Publishing

Part 1

This book is based on the true story of Jesse Fredrick Warren a 24 year old French Polisher by trade who was living in Bethnal Green, East London with his wife Amelia and their two daughters Elizabeth and Beatrice.The start of the Great War in 1914 brought with it an end to regular employment and the beginning of great hardships for Jesse and his family. By the February of 1915 they were destitute and starving. There was no money for food, gas or coal. Like so many other young men in the same situation, Jesse had only one option open to him; without telling his wife he signed on and volunteered for the Army. It was not for the King and Country that he joined, but to put food on the table for his family. For this he was taken to France through the gates of Hell.

Part 2

This is the continuing story of Jesse and Amelia Warren now living in Walthamstow, East London from the end of the Great War which against all odds he survived, until their deaths many years later...But firstly it takes the reader back to the meeting of a young couple who were to survive many hardships. It tells of their family, the good times they shared together and the bad times, but also it tells of many hilarious moments that will certainly make the reader smile.