The best history books are packed with first-hand accounts, detailed anecdotes and unique perspectives that reveal real human life stories from a distinct period in time.  

As  Remembrance  Sunday  approaches  (13th  November),  the  memories  of  those  who  have  lived  through times of war are firmly at the forefront of the nation’s minds.

While thousands  of people have incredible stories to share of their experiences  of these times, many keep these tales to themselves or fail to document them so they can be passed on to future generations.

Although 64 per cent of Brits admit to being told war stories by their parents or grandparents* only eight per cent of these storytellers have managed to write them down. In fact, one in five of those who experienced theSecond  World  War  first-hand  has  forgotten  many  experiences  completely,  meaning  they  have  already missed the opportunity to document these important pieces of social history.

The  importance  of  preserving  these  informative  and  irreplaceable  insights  led  entrepreneur,  Roy  Moëd  to create  LifeBook –  a  bespoke  autobiography  service –  which  he  set  up  in 2012  after  encouraging  his  own father to document his memories.

“My  father  was  nearing  the  end  of  his  life,  was  almost blind  and  felt  he  didn’t  have  much  to  contribute anymore,” comments Mr MoëdJules Moed LifeBook. “I wanted to find him a project to work on, something he could look forward to.

“I knew there would be stories from his past that he might feel a little uncomfortable sharing with me so I sent a friend to meet with him once a week so he didn’t have to hold back or have the worry of telling me a story he had already told me a thousand times.”

Forgotten war stories brought alive with the help of Surrey autobiography company

Mr  Moëd’s father  passed  away  before  they  were  able  to  finish  the book  completely  but  provided  the inspiration  to  set  up  LifeBook.  The  aim  was  to  encourage  other  people  to  start  the  journey  of  storytelling, share their life stories and leave a lasting legacy.

LifeBook sends an interviewer,  weekly for a period of 12 weeks, to interview and record a person’s stories. After  each  session,  their verbal  recollections  are  turned  into the  written  word –  in  the  author’s voice –and then amended and edited as the author sees fit.

Once  the  chapters  have  been  written  and  approved,  they  are  then  typeset  into  five hand-crafted,  stitched linen-covered, 160-page hardback books, including up to 60 photographs.

To date LifeBook has helped several hundred people across 15 different countries document their stories for family and friends – many of them First and Second World War veterans.

Mr Moëd adds: “Although these books are very much something for the family of the authors to treasure for years  to  come  they  are  often  shared  with  friends  and  kept  for,  as  yet,  unborn  grandchildren  and  great grandchildren.” 

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