A Family World War I History Revisited

Aedin Johnston first started researching Finding James in 2006 when she started looking into the life of her grand uncle who fought in World War I. Little was known about why James O’Connor joined the British army, particularly as he came from a largely Republican family.
“They knew nothing of the life he led during the war, the battles he fought or where he died… As a result I did a huge amount of research and followed his footsteps through the war. In doing so I got an idea of the horrendous lives these Irish men led and the battles they fought” says Johnston.

Aedin carried on the search for her grand-uncle when her father was no longer able to do so. The story of her search for her grand-uncle culminated in her book Finding James, published with selfpublishbooks.ie. Aedin herself had to take a break from the research for a while, when she had her own struggle with cancer, but this week she saw her work come to fruition, with the launch of Finding James in Waterstone’s in Cork, by historian Gerry White (pictured below with Aedin Johnston). The book comes at a time when the private histories of those who lost their lives in Word War I, are more to the fore and it will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to the conversation around the Irish and the war.

Gerry & Me at the Launch


Finding James has already been receiving some attention and in some ways it reads more like a novel than historical account of a terrible time in world history. We at selfpublishbooks.ie wish Aedin every success with her wonderful book.

Finding James is available in Waterstones’ and Liam Russell bookshops in Cork. You can also buy a Kindle version on Amazon.

If you are considering writing a family history or memoir, contact selfpublishbooks.ie and we’d be delighted to discuss getting your work into print.