Major Tom's War

Major Tom's War


Vee Walker

A debut novel that explores the extraordinary capabilities for both good and evil of ordinary people caught up in the unimaginable horror of the First World War.

Hardback, 448 pages, 234 x 156 mm
20 b&w photographs and 1 map
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About the Book

In 1914, Evie – a would-be suffragette – receives letters from an Indian cavalry officer in France whom she hates. In 1918, she marries him. What happens in between is Major Tom’s War.

A story of unlikely love and tragic loss set during the Great War, Major Tom’s War is told through the experiences of four people with intertwining destinies: an Indian Army cavalry officer, a V.A.D. Red Cross nurse, a mayor in occupied France and a Highland soldier-laird.

In a state of despair after the mysterious death of his first wife Mary, Tom Westmacott, a Bengal-born solicitor, flees Calcutta in 1914 for the Western Front. He finds solace in writing to his late wife’s best friend and cousin, Evie Winnington-Ingram. Despite initially blaming Tom for Mary’s demise, Evie responds. Family pressures have prevented her from continuing to support The Cause but, like other Suffragettes, the strong-willed and independent Evie finds other ways to make a significant contribution – notably through performing crucial nursing duties where she encounters first-hand the grisly realities of war. Their correspondence for the duration of the war leads to the forging of an unusual and lasting love.

Drawing on her family's archive, the author weaves together a stirring and intricate plot full of memorable characters: her grandfather Tom, the proud and damaged cavalry officer; his nurse and reluctant bride, Evie; Tom's vicious nemesis, Lochdubh; Amar Singh, the steadfast leader of the Sikhs; Tom's protector, Harnam Singh; the reckless yet terrified young lieutenant, Reggie Durand; Gaston Derome, the hero mayor of Bavay, a French town clinging to survival under the heel of the invader, and four unforgettable horses.

The events in this uplifting novel weaves together real events set in India, England, Wales, Scotland, Belgium, Germany and France, offering insights into the grim humour and camaraderie amongst the surprisingly diverse soldiery in the allied trenches.

About the Author

VEE WALKER is an experienced museums and heritage consultant. The discovery of a long forgotten family tragedy led her to spend almost a decade researching and writing Major Tom’s War, her debut novel. It is rooted in her grandfather Tom’s account of the 1914–18 conflict as contained within his war diary scrapbook, lovingly assembled by her grandmother, Evie.

A digital archive with 400+ rare images and documents will complement the publication of this unique publication and can be seen here.

For author events, talks and interviews see our What's On page.

Publication Date: 21 September 2018
ISBN: 9781911271147