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Fowey Harbour Heritage Society

Leo Walmsley, author, 1892 – 1966

Born at Shipley in West Yorkshire in 1892  Leo grew up near Robin Hoods Bay.  His novels describing Bramblewick are based on Robin Hoods Bay. A scholarship boy he taught after leaving school.  During the First World War he served in the Royal Flying Corps winning the Military Cross. He was also mentioned in dispatches four times.

Following the failure of his first marriage he and his second wife, Margaret Bell – Little, moved to an old army hut just off Pont Creek across the river from Fowey. It is here that he started his Bramblewick series. Moving back to Yorkshire and later to South Wales it was there that he wrote the fictional account of his time in Cornwall, Love in the Sun. This novel was widely acclaimed but the best seller expected disappeared with the coming of the Second World War. The unhappiness Walmsley felt following the breakdown of his second marriage encouraged him to return to Fowey to try to rebuild his life. It was here that he met Stephanie, a young actress, and when his divorce came through they married in 1955. Paradise Creek, the sequel to Love in the Sun, is the story of Leo and Stephanie.  During his life Leo wrote some 200 short stories. He died in Fowey in June 1966.

Research Lynn Goold

Sources: Leo Walmsley Society

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