A NEWENT woman has spoken of her delight that a French town has chosen to honour her grandfather for a special "patois" dictionary he compiled some 88 years ago, during the First World War.

Delphine Isaaman has given original working notes by her French grandfather, Paul Barbier Jnr, to the village of Erquinghem-Lys, near Armentieres.

In return, the village will unveil a public bench in his honour, having already staged an exhibition about him to coincide with the Armistice Weekend in November.

Mrs Isaaman said: "It means a great deal to me. I'm thrilled."

Monsieur Barbier had been professor of French at Leeds University before the Great War, but found himself in the French village, attached as an interpreter with a British Ambulance Unit, for five months from October 1914.

To relieve boredom, he started to study the local patios, a kind of dialect unique to the village.

His work formed the basis of the Lexique Du Patois D'Erquinghem-Lys, a dictionary that was not published in France until 1980.

Monsieur Barbier, who died in 1947, never saw it in print.