A NEW novel has been inspired by one of the Isle of Wight's most iconic and pioneering figures.

Author of Bobby's War, Shirley Mann, met with Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilot, Mary Ellis before beginning work on the book, with her remarkable recollections playing a pivotal role in her latest war novel.

During the second World War, Mary delivered more than 1,000 planes, including Spitfires and Wellington bombers, equipped with just a compass, stopwatch and map.

Mary died in 2018 at the age of 101, having run Sandown Airport and provided pleasure flights on the Island from the airport for a number of years.

Read more: Isle of Wight mourns legendary aviator Mary Ellis

Bobby's War, Shirley's second novel, was published in eBook form on October 31, with a paperback issue scheduled for release on March 19 next year.

A former journalist in her 60s, Shirley worked mostly for the BBC on programmes such as Countryfile, before starting up Harvest Creative, a media company making films for organisations like Natural England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Isle of Wight County Press: Bobby's War was inspired by the incredible life of Island based pilot Mary EllisBobby's War was inspired by the incredible life of Island based pilot Mary Ellis

She said: “I get such a buzz from finding out things that aren’t in history books.

“Remembering what people went through when they were being bombed from the air for six years gives me a sense of perspective about Covid.”

Bobby's War is available to purchase on Amazon, with Kindle and audio book version available now and a paperback edition which can be pre-ordered at a cost of £7.99.