'War Story' is the Imperial War Museum's (IWM) project to build a collection of material relating to the personal experiences of members of the British Armed Forces who have served in Afghanistan. This collection will be used in their research, publications and displays to tell the story both now and in the future.
Since 1917, the generous donation of every kind of item by individual members of the public has enriched the IWM Collections. These donations have helped to illustrate and record all relevant aspects of modern war and of the individual’s experience of war and wartime life.
The Thornton family were delighted to donate John's original diary, which he kept whilst serving in Afghanistan during Op Herrick VII, for this collection. The diary was exactly the kind of personal war record that the museum is keen to take, a vivid portrayal of John's life on the front-line. John's diary will be added to the many collections of diaries, letters and memoirs which are regularly consulted by authors and academics and used in exhibitions, displays and educational activities within the IWM.
It is a massive honour and a privilege for John's diary to be kept safely at the IWM for time immemorial ensuring that his words will live on as a record for the Nation.
When John was home on leave during his tour of Afghanistan he showed his brother Ian his diary and Ian suggested that he should get it published when he came home. John's response was that 'no-one would be interested!'
Helmand: Diaries of Front-Line Soldiers’ (which includes JT's diary) is available direct from the JTYAF at £9.99 plus £3 postage and packing. £5 from every purchase will be donated to the charity. For larger orders please phone Pete on 07792121645.