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January 10 , 2009

Butterworth's Brigade


The worlds of 12-year-old Axel Tyler and 73-year-old Brigadier Butterworth couldn’t possibly be farther apart. While one is content to live life to the full in the fast track of 1990’s Britain, the other yearns for the day when the country regains its senses and returns to those pre-war values that made Britain ‘Great’.
When events conspire to bring the 12-year-old rebel and the madcap Brigadier face-to-face, conflict becomes inevitable as the irreconcilable values and beliefs of two widely different worlds collide.

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I was born in Portlaw and when my time comes to lie at the other side of the green sod, it is my wish that one third of my ashes shall be placed upon my grandparents' grave, William and Mary Fanning, along with my uncles, Willie Fanning and Johnnie Fanning who are also buried there. A further third of my ashes will be placed on my parents’…

The war between the two combatants is fought within a privatised, concentration camp, which is situated deep in the heart of Arundel Forest. Who will win the hearts and minds of the 59 teenage-rebel prisoners who have all been expelled from their schools and imprisoned in Arundel Forest: Axel or the Brigadier? At stake is nothing less than the future of Great Britain and the values of its young.

‘Butterworth’s Brigade’ was described at the time of its initial publication as being a book of the 90s that will be remembered in years to come for the issues it raises and the questions it posed. The issues in respect of Britain’s membership of the ‘Common Market’ and the ‘European Union’ remain as poignant and as relevant today as they were when I first wrote about them twenty years ago. Indeed, ‘Butterworth’s Brigade’ ends with the Brigadier warning of the dangers yet to be dealt with over the unresolved European issue.

‘Butterworth’s Brigade’ is a thought-provoking story that was written primarily in commemoration of ‘D-Day’ and all those Second World War soldiers who died on the beaches of Normandy. It pleases me immensely to republish this story in E-book format during the one hundred years’ anniversary of the ‘First World War.’

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