Lying about his age to join the army, poor Edinburgh teenager Jamie Melville comes to the attention of his battalion’s new colonel, Winston Churchill, who is seeking redemption in the trenches as an ordinary soldier after his resignation over the Dardanelles fiasco in 1915. Jamie becomes the colonel’s new ‘batman’ (a.k.a. orderly) and is soon thrust into the line of fire.
Later, both are returned to civilian life, and when Winston returns to the cabinet, Jamie is offered a position as assistant to the new minister's private secretary and part time-literary agent Edward Marsh, who introduces Jamie to the artistic side of London life. Along the way Jamie falls in love with a nurse and makes contact again with his broken family, which will leave him with a difficult choice to make: stay with Winston, or leave and make a life of his own.
Mark Woodburn’s first novel is a fast-moving delight, meticulously researched, clearly a labour of love – early readers were convinced the book was a genuine memoir, and readers of the final edition may find themselves checking the small-print too.
“Woodburn offers an excellent portrayal of Churchill ... a novel not to be missed.”
— Finest Hour magazine
“An outstanding book ... Memorable, eminently readable, and thoroughly enjoyable.”
— Undiscovered Scotland
Date Published: 2012-10-19
Catalogue Number: VP0039
Number of Pages: 320
Cover design by Jamie McGarry
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