In the spring of 1940, the spectre of war turned into grim reality. And on the English home front, men, women and children found themselves swept into a maelstrom of fear and uncertainty while events abroad led inexorably from the debacles of Norway and Dunkirk to the horror and glory of the Battle of Britain. For the Lovatt family - James, seconded on a hush-hush assignment to work with Churchill, and his brother Harry, a naval officer - for Bess Spofford, Joanne Schorner, Graham Smit and all the inhabitants of the history villages of the New Forest, it was the beginning of the most bizarre, funny and tragic episode of their lives.
Born in Newport, Monmouthshire, 1931, Leslie Thomas is the son of a sailor who was lost of sea in 1943. His boyhood in an orphanage is evoked in This Time Next Week published in 1964. At sixteen, he became a reporter, before going on to do his national service. He won worldwide acclaim with his bestselling novel The Virgin Soldiers, which has achieved international sales of over two million copies.