In a quiet corner of St Alban’s church is a brass plaque to the memory of John Brown-King, a Windy nook lad, reputed to be have fired the first shot in First World War. After tracking down a mine-laying German ship, John Brown-king’s ship the Amphion, fired on the enemy ship and sank it. In the midst of triumph, the Amphion hit one of the mines and rapidly sank. John Brown-King was badly burned but managed to cling to life in an English hospital before dying of his wounds. He is remembered today as having fired the first shot in a terrible conflict that was to persist for four long agonising years and resulting in the deaths of at least 10 million victims.

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