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Many writers fought and several died in the British armed forces in the First World War. But those writers who were too old to enlist were also affected, especially those with children of fighting age. The novelist Joseph Conrad, born in Russian-occupied Poland in 1857 but a naturalised British citizen from 1886, spent three anxious years while his son Borys fought on the Western Front in the Army Service Corps. But Borys was not Conrad’s only source of anxiety when the war ended in 1918.