Families torn apart by the Great War. When war is declared in August 1914, Bill, a farm boy brought up in a village on the Duke of Buccleuch’s Northamptonshire estate, is plucking up his courage to ask his sweetheart, Florrie, to marry him. Florrie has given up her dream of being a dancer to bring up her siblings and protect them from their violent and abusive widowed father. For her, marriage to Bill is love, escape, and protection: a dream to be clung to. But Bill and Florrie’s dreams are dashed – Bill is sent with the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars, a yeomanry cavalry regiment, to fight in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Palestine taking with him a horse, Copper, volunteered for service by the 7th Duke’s young daughter, Lady Alice. Bill makes promises before he leaves: to marry Florrie if he survives and to bring his beloved warhorse home safe to Lady Alice.
While Bill fights Turks and Germans in appalling conditions, Florrie, a strong female, fights her own war with rationing, poverty, the loss of her menfolk, and her father’s drunken temper. As WW1 proceeds, fearful and with her resilience faltering, her feelings of self-worth plummet, and she turns to her dandelion clocks for reassurance. ‘He lives? He lives not? He loves me? He loves me not?’
When Bill returns to England six months after the armistice in November 1918, both he and Florrie have been changed by their personal journeys. Has their love survived wartime romances, five years apart, and the tragedies they’ve endured? Can Bill keep his promises to Florrie and Lady Alice?
A heartbreaking story of lovers torn apart by the Great War. An insight into the military history of the 1914 1918 war as fought by the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars and the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Yeomanry – some of the ‘PALS brigades’. At first thought, ‘not real soldiers’ by the regular army, the Royal Bucks and the Worcester Yeomanry fought with great courage and suffered huge losses. In fact, the Worcesters sustained more losses than any brigade in any war, and the PALS earnt the respect of all those who fought with them. Although Military Fiction, it is a story inspired by real people and based on real events that doesn’t forget the role of women in the Great War or their need for a wartime romance – love where they could find it.
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