By Johnny Sherwood
In 1938 Johnny Sherwood was a young professional footballer on the brink of an England career, touring the world with the all-star British team the Islington Corinthians. By 1942 he was a soldier surrendering to the Japanese at the siege of Singapore. Taken prisoner he was sent to a POW camp deep in the heart of the Thai jungle, where he was starved, beaten, and forced to build the notorious 'railway of death' on the River Kwai. Johnny kept his and his men's spirits up with tales of his footballing past, even organising matches until he and the other prisoners became too weak to play. One day, he even encountered a brutal Japanese guard, and was shocked to recognise him as a Japanese footballer Johnny had played against. Many years after Johnny's death, his grandson Michael discovered an old manuscript hidden in the attic of his mother's house. It was Johnny's own account of his wartime experiences - the story too horrific to reveal in full to his loved ones. In the tradition of bestselling memoirs like The Railway Man, Lucky Johnny is an inspirational tale of survival against the odds.
Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey
By The Countess Of Carnarvon
'An excellent depiction of English aristocratic life ... a compelling portrait' Publisher's Weekly* * * * * *The follow-up to the international bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, this book moves the story into the 1920s, and focuses on the remarkable American heiress who came to reign at Highclere Castle.Sometimes the facts are even more extraordinary than the fiction ... This book tells the story of Lady Catherine, a beautiful American girl who became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes' award-winning drama Downton Abbey. Charming and charismatic, Catherine caught the eye of Lord Porchester (or 'Porchey', as he was known) when she was just 20 years old, and wearing a pale yellow dress at a ball. She had already turned down 14 proposals before she eventually married Porchey in 1922. But less than a year later Porchey's father died suddenly, and he became the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, inheriting a title and a Castle that changed both their lives forever. Catherine found herself suddenly in charge of a small army of household staff, and hosting lavish banquets and weekend house parties. Although the couple were very much in love, considerable challenges lay ahead for Catherine. They were immediately faced with the task of saving Highclere when debts threatened to destroy the estate. As the 1920s moved to a close, Catherine's adored brother died and she began to lose her husband to the distractions London had to offer. When the Second World War broke out, life at the Castle would never be the same again. Drawing on rich material from the private archives at Highclere, including beautiful period photographs, the current Countess of Carnarvon transports us back to the thrilling and alluring world of the 'real Downton Abbey' and its inhabitants.
The Last Dance
By Denys Blakeway
'The year has, indeed, begun in gloom. The King ill, and Kipling dead . . .' so wrote the diarist Chips Channon in 1936 as George V lay on his deathbed at Buckingham Palace. The passing of two such pillars of the establishment sent tremors through the nation and heralded the ending of the old order. 1936 was to be an extraordinary year: at home social and constitutional crisis threatened, while in Europe, the dictators were on the march. It was the year of the abdication and civil war in Spain. The tectonic plates of history were shifting - Britain would never be the same again. The Last Dance is told using the accounts of those who lived through this turbulent period. Through extracts from diaries of shopkeepers, socialites, bishops, and volunteers in Spain, and the memoirs of the unemployed, housewives and hostesses, as well as the contemporary accounts of politicians, journalists and poets, Blakeway offers a compelling and vivid account of a turning point in our nation's story.
Lost Voices of The Royal Air Force
By Max Arthur
Max Arthur, bestselling author of FORGOTTEN VOICES: THE GREAT WAR, presents this moving collection of first-hand accounts of life in the Royal Air Force, from 1918 to the present day. LOST VOICES OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE records the role of the RAF in World War II, and, particularly, the Battle of Britain and the desert battles of North Africa, as well as in the Falklands and in the Gulf War. Through original interviews with air and ground crew, the spirit and comradeship, the stress, courage, isolation, vulnerability and the wonder of the wartime flying experience is vividly explored.
Lost Voices of The Royal Navy
By Max Arthur
Acclaimed historian Max Arthur pays tribute to the Royal Navy from 1914 to 1945. Drawing on the personal stories of those who have served during this period, he has created a unique narrative history of the senior service.FORGOTTEN VOICES: THE ROYAL NAVY is a memorable and moving testament to the courage, spirit, skill and irrepressible humour of those who served in the Royal Navy during these crucial years.