Bookshops With Signed Copies

Signed copies of Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners are available in the following London bookshops: Foyles in Charing Cross Road; Waterstones in Trafalgar Square; Blackwells in Holborn; London Review Bookshop by the British Museum; and Barnes Bookshop.  I will be adding to this list on Thursday 11 April.

On Saturday 20 April, I will be signing at One Tree Bookshop in Petersfield at 10.30 and on Wednesday 24 April, I will be talking about the colourful characters and their extraordinary ordeal in Hungerford with tickets available at:




Sky News Again

I was invited to discuss the situation in Libya with Samantha Washington on the afternoon news programme, but we were diverted by the breaking story about Army Culture.

There appears to be huge political pressure on the Chief of the General Staff to sort out the discipline problem in the Field Army, which is the biggest reputational threat since the Iraq War abuse.  As he is relatively new in the job and his background is Special Forces and the Household Division, this will be challenging for him as you can see from the hasty Army posting on Youtube.



BBC Radio Solent

The art of a great interviewer is to ask questions which the interviewee would like to talk about and extract information the listeners would like to hear.

It was a pleasure to be interviewed by the skillful Julian Clegg, who covered so many bases in our seven minute discussion before the launch at Waterstones on Feel Good Friday.

The interview can be listened to on the BBC website at:


BBC Radio with Julian Clegg.jpg




Sky News Interview

With a month to go before the Waterstones’ launch of Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners, I was delighted to be interviewed by Faisal Islam on Sky News morning programme, All Out Politics.

We discussed Winston Churchill’s role in the story on the anniversary of his “Sinews of Peace” speech in Missouri, which for many people marked the beginning of the Cold War.


Sky Politics Show

On 8th March 1919, Winston Churchill wrote a letter…

…to the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George about the Government’s policy on Russia.

The War Secretary confirmed that the Prime Minister had: “decided that Colonel John Ward and the two British battalions at Omsk are to be withdrawn”.  One week later, he sent Major Leonard Vining and Warrant Officer Emerson MacMillan to Siberia on the SS Stentor.

Little did he know that they would be captured by the Red Army and not released from their Moscow prisons until November 1920.

Read about their amazing story in Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners: The British Soldiers Deceived in the Russian Civil War, available from Waterstones and independent bookshops later this month.


The Ivanovsky monastery in Moscow where the British were imprisoned in July 1920

In February 1919, Churchill’s volunteers…

…arrived in Siberia to support Admiral Kolchak’s White Army.  Lyddon Morley deployed to Irkutsk with ten soldiers to help train the Russian soldiers, but he was not allowed to make any changes to the syllabus until he “donated” 15,000 sets of British uniform to the 8th and 14th Siberian Rifle Divisions.

Meanwhile other British soldiers from the Middlesex and Hampshire Regiments guarded the trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway and repulsed many attacks by bandits and Bolsheviks…


Prinkipo Proposal

At the Paris Peace Conference, US President Woodrow Wilson proposed a ceasefire in Russia and a  gathering of all the civil war contenders and Allies on Prinkipo Island, in the Sea of Marmara, on 15 February 1919.

The Bolsheviks accepted, offering terms but not a ceasefire.  However, the White Government in Omsk, led by Admiral Kolchak and encouraged by Marshal Foch and Winston Churchill, refused to participate.

While Prime Minister David Lloyd George and President Wilson were both absent from Paris,  Foch and Churchill, believing the Soviet government to be weak, proposed a military expedition to Russia, but French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, refused to support the scheme.

How different it would have been if the Allies had not underestimated the support for the Bolsheviks, or the logistic challenges of sustaining military operations in far-away places such as Omsk.