THE life of one of the district's most distinguished military leaders is celebrated in a new book.

Loughton and District Historical Society secretary Richard Morris's new biography charts the career of Lieutenant General Sir Francis Lloyd, who organised much of the effort in London during the First World War.

A local hero, Sir Francis lived at Rolls Park, in Chigwell, during the war, and was descended from the famous Harvey family- the subject of a previous book by Mr Morris.

During the research for his book, Mr Morris uncovered a letter from Sir Winston Churchill's wife recalling the couple's stay at Rolls Park during the 1924 election campaign when the future prime minister stood in the Epping constituency for the first time.

The book's title, The Man Who Ran London During The Great War, relates to a comment made by a British journalist about Sir Francis who was given delegated powers over hospitals and trains during the war.

After the conflict, Sir Francis continued to take an active part in the community and officially opened the war memorials in Chigwell, Theydon Bois, and Waltham Abbey.

“He was so popular and a great orator,” said Mr Morris, “Any time anyone wanted something unveiled they asked him because they knew he could deliver a good speech.”

To order a copy of Mr Morris's book visit or call 01226 734222.