Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Wednesday 12 December 2018

Tracks in the Sand – Jardine Press Book Launch

‘Tracks in the Sand’

The Story of a First World War Railwayman

James Dodds in Conversation

Friday 2nd Feb 7.00pm

Royal British Legion

Wivenhoe Quay


Tickets £4 from Wivenhoe Bookshop – Profits to RBL Welfare Fund

For tickets, or to reserve a copy of the book call 01206 824050 or send an email

Tracks in the Sand

The Story of a First World War Railwayman
edited by James Foster Dodds and Catherine Dodds

James’ grandfather, Tim Foster, served in Egypt and Palestine during the first world war. Tracks in the Sand is composed of Tim’s letters home to his sweetheart Pollie Pannell, photographs that he took and developed, and all sorts of ephemera from this time. Whilst there he helped build the railway across the Sinai desert, and became the first English station master at Jerusalem.

Tim first saw action in Gallipoli and was lucky to survive. Taking a camera with him to his next campaign in Egypt and Palestine, he recorded everything around him, sending photographs home with his letters.

At the Suez Canal he was in charge of a light railway as part of the Canal Defence Force. As the war advanced he was transferred to the Royal Engineers to operate the military railway under construction through the Sinai desert.

In Palestine he became station master at Jerusalem before finally returning home to his sweetheart seven months after the war had ended.

Over 100 letters and postcards, cigar boxes full of tiny negatives, faded contact prints, railway documents and timetables, tickets, scrapbooks and all sorts of ephemera have been passed down through the family. Tim’s photographs witness the importance that railways played in securing victory in the Middle East. The letters document the courtship of Tim and Pollie Foster and their six year engagement separated by war. Piecing together their tracks left in the sand has brought to life a fascinating story.

For tickets, or to reserve a copy of the book call 01206 824050 or send an email

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