RESIDENTS of Dumbarton and the Vale will have the opportunity to hear a mother's first hand account of losing her son - a soldier in the British Army - in the Afghanistan conflict.

Margaret Evison's son Mark - a Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards - died on May 12, 2009 after being shot in the shoulder while leading a patrol in Helmand Province, he was 26-years-old.

In the year after his death, Margaret began to write about her experience, initially as a coping mechanism, which eventually would be released in 2012 as the book - 'Death of a Soldier: A Mother's Story'.

The book is an account of Margaret's experience of coping with his death, but also Mark's personal experiences with entries from the diary he kept, and asks wider questions about the war itself and its devastating impact on the lives of so many people.

As part of this year's Booked Festival, Margaret will be coming to Dumbarton Library to read excerpts from her book, and discuss it with the audience. Margaret told the Reporter: "I have appeared at the Oxford Literary Festival but this was the first festival I was asked to do.

"I feel it's a very important subject, it's a fairly universal story - a modern war death.

"The book has been published in Australia and a publisher from Bombay has expressed an interest as well.

"I find it really touching that people who read the book, like it, it's been really well received." What began as a solitary therapeutic exercise soon became something Margaret felt she had to share to help people better understand her, and many like her's, experience.

Margaret continued: "I began writing it on what would have been around the time of the one year anniversary of Mark's death, all the memories came flooding back and I just took to writing them down.

"I decided to write the book because there's something important about the whole process for parents.

"This fleshes out the story for people who see a soldier has died on the news and it's just a name and a face - I tried to make people understand there's an individual story with each death.

"People really like the book for that reason and I hope that people in a similar situation have found it really helpful." Margaret hopes her trip to Dumbarton will allow her story to reach a wider audience who share her experience. She added: "I am delighted to have been asked, I am sure there are a lot of soldiers from Dumbarton who are fighting overseas and I am sure it means something to their families and friends." Margaret is appearing tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7.30pm at Dumbarton Library, tickets are free and are available from any library in Dumbarton and the Vale.