Penniless, divorced and AWOL from the British forces, Bill Parris volunteered for the French Foreign Legion in the early 1980s. Unlike many British volunteers to the Legion, Bill did not desert. He endured a horrendous training regime and, despite a fear of heights (!) joined the elite Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. He discovered how women from all over the world flock to Corsica where the Legion is based - so his R&R was almost as exhausting as the jungle warfare school he was later sent to. This is more than a war story - it is a personal journey too, as Bill comes to terms with his own inner demons. His five years' service included brutal combat in Rwanda and Chad, events that still trigger nightmares. But he emerged as a man at peace with himself, and with a story to tell.
Bill Parris was born in Newcastle. He joined the RAF Regiment in the 1980s before travelling to Paris to join the French Foreign Legion. He is now re-married with two children and lives in Newcastle.