Nell feels very at home in her beautiful corner of Wiltshire with her partner Angus and her new friends nearby on Peppercorn Street. But the prospect of bringing life back into an abandoned row of houses, Saffron Lane, is just the challenge she needs. Not far away, Stacy, coping with a shock divorce, and Elise, battling against forced residential care, are both trying to regain a sense of normalcy and begin a new chapter in their lives. On the other side of the world, Adam and his daughter Gemma are coming to terms with changes and discoveries that will set them on new paths. Could it be that in all of their cases, the solutions to their problems and the answers to their questions wait for them at Saffron Lane? ‘Anna Jacobs is adored by a whole army of women readers for her heart-warming stories of love and life’ Lancashire Evening Post
Survivor on the River Kwai is the heartbreaking story of Reg Twigg, one of the last men standing from a forgotten war. Called up in 1940, Reg expected to be fighting Germans. Instead, he found himself caught up in the worst military defeat in modern British history - the fall of Singapore to the Japanese. What followed were three years of hell, moving from one camp to another along the Kwai river, building the infamous Burma railway for the all-conquering Japanese Imperial Army. Some prisoners coped with the endless brutality of the code of Bushido by turning to God; others clung to whatever was left of the regimental structure. Reg made the deadly jungle, with its malaria, cholera, swollen rivers, lethal snakes and exhausting heat, work for him. With an ingenuity that is astonishing, he trapped and ate lizards, harvested pumpkins from the canteen rubbish heap and with his homemade razor became camp barber. That Reg survived is testimony to his own courage and determination, his will to beat the alien brutality of camp guards who had nothing but contempt for him and his fellow POWs. He was a risk taker whose survival strategies sometimes bordered on genius. Reg's story is unique. Reg Twigg was born at Wigston (Leicester) barracks on 16 December 1913. He was called up to the Leicestershire Regiment in 1940 but instead of fighting Hitler he was sent to the Far East, stationed at Singapore. When captured by the Japanese, he decided he would do everything to survive. After his repatriation from the Far East, Reg returned to Leicester. With his family he returned to Thailand in 2006, and revisited the sites of the POW camps. Reg died in 2013, at the age of ninety-nine, two weeks before the publication of this book.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Leicester was an industrial city picking itself up from the debris of the Second World War. Compared with nearby Coventry, Leicester has been a relatively safe place, but the effects of the Blitz were still very evident in New Walk and in the residential areas of Highfields and Stoneygate. After years of operating on a wartime economy, Leicester's major industries - textiles, hosiery and machine tools - faced the challenge of returning to domestic production, and in assimilating a large male workforce returning from the battlefields of Europe and beyond to civilian life. In Leicester in the 1950s, Stephen Butt traces the vibrant lives of those recovering from the destruction of the Second World War.
Leicester had a strong radical tradition, and was represented in Parliament during the Great War by the outspoken Labour MP Ramsay MacDonald. MacDonald's anti-war views divided opinion in Leicester sharply, but whilst it was slow to provide troops for Kitchener's Army, this was not through lack of patriotism. Instead, Leicester's three main industries footwear, hosiery and engineering all had bulging order books as a result of government war contracts.Bravery on the battlefield, strikes at home, conscientious objectors and the great flu pandemic were all part of Leicester's story in the Great War, and all are covered here. The author allows Leicester citizens, who lived through these momentous events, to tell their stories in their own words, and powerful eyewitness accounts from men, women and children run through this book. Many of these accounts are previously unpublished, and lend a sense of freshness and immediacy to the narrative, making this an ideal purchase for First World War enthusiasts and social historians alike.