It is always nice when you can claim a connection to someone who has been, without question, a force of nature in the world, and so it has always been with the BFP’s link to Sir Terry Pratchett.

The much adored author worked at this very publication for a spell in the 1960s – a fact we very proudly leapt upon whenever reporting a visit to the area, or the latest on his ongoing war against the awful condition he suffered from – early onset Alzheimer’s.

He was, without question, a giant of modern popular literature and the architect of an incredibly rich and fantastical world that fired up the imaginations of his legions of adoring fans.

He was also one of those incredibly important authors that formed a perfect gateway for readers graduating from books skewed at younger readers into more ‘grown up’ literature – without doing anything to diminish his appeal to a proper adult audience.

In recent years, though, despite the huge back-catalogue of his work, he has perhaps become just as famous for his battle against Alzheimer’s, not to mention his input into the controversial euthanasia debate.

In 2013 Sir Terry made a rather special visit to Beaconsfield Library, a place he said did much to inspire his own love of stories and, by extension, writing itself.

The Discworld author told his audience there – which included pupils from Holtspur Primary School – he owed a great deal of his massive success to the time spent at the library.

He said he preferred going to read copies of Punch magazine than to school, where he said he learned nothing more than to “spit and fight”.

Sir Terry contacted staff of his own accord to organise the event, and there was some speculation at the time that it may have been because he wanted to revisit some of the key haunts and inspirations of his past before the Alzheimer’s took too firm a hold of him.

Alzheimer’s, of course, is always vile and cruel in the way it can strip people of so much of what made up their identity – to both themselves and their loved ones. The case of Sir Terry sums up its brutality perfectly, though – a man with a tremendously keen wit and sparkling intelligence who had to suffer the indignity of the condition, and the prospect of it attacking the very faculties that made him so adored.

His legacy deserves to be vast– not just in terms of his literary output, but also in his fearless approach to confronting his condition and raising awareness of it to the wider world.