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Winston and Me

by Mark Woodburn

‘I was seventeen but felt I had lived for a century. I had more dead friends than living.’

The story of a teenage soldier serving at Winston Churchill’s side, in the trenches of WW1 Flanders and beyond. Second edition published December 2018, revised to include newly-discovered historical detail.

Lying about his age to join the army, 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’ and is soon thrust into the line of fire.

After the conflict, Churchill returns to the cabinet and Jamie’s service continues as assistant to Winston’s private secretary. In this new world, he will learn how to do battle on a very different front, and meet some of the extraordinary characters who inhabit wartime London – all whilst trying to piece together his broken family, and fighting for a life he can call his own.

“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


Mark Woodburn was born in Edinburgh, 1968, and grew up in Scotland, Canada and South Africa. His colourful employment history includes work in forestry, pet food, ladies' fashion, risk analysis and as a part-time soldier in the Royal Corps of Transport. He currently lives in West Lothian, with his wife and daughter, and is a season ticket holder at Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

Mark's first novel Winston and Me, originally published in 2012, was the first unsolicited fiction submission to be taken on by Valley Press. A second edition, revised to include newly-discovered historical detail, is forthcoming in December 2018. A sequel, The Finest Years and Me, featuring the same characters reunited in World War Two, was published in November 2015.


Edition: Second

Date Published: 2018-12-12

ISBN: 9781912436156

Catalogue Number: VP0135

Number of Pages: 274

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

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