Thoroughly with Enthusiasm:
The Life of Sir Peter Gadsden|
by Ina Taylor (Ellingham Press,
£24, ISBN 0 9547560 0 2)
The book title is taken from Sir Peter’s coat
of arms, and his remarkable life unfolds like a
Hollywood film. A world expert in mineral
sands, he did business in Red China during
Mao’s time, went behind the Iron Curtain.
An active Freemason, he was appointed
by the UN to investigate mineral sands in
Egypt and rode out to African mines astride
a mule. A well-known City figure, he has
been a Sheriff and Senior Alderman, and
was Lord Mayor of London 1979-1980.
A frequent visitor to Lake Havasu City
in Arizona which has London Bridge as its
centrepiece, he is a former chairman of the
City of London Arizona Corporation.
Well-known in Australia, Sir Peter
chaired the Britain-Australia Bicentennial
Committee to celebrate the first European
settlement in Australia.
Donations on sales will go to the 2010
Grand Charity Festival. £5 will go to
the Charity for each book despatched to a
Masonic reader from Vale Books and £3 for
those sent from Troubadour Publishing. All
orders should go through T. 029 2076 6062.
Upon Their Lawful Occasions|
by Vernon Upton (Troubadour
Publishing, £14.99, ISBN
1 904744 25 7)
Freemason Vernon Upton has produced a
superbly documented story of the harrowing
and epic struggle of the British merchant
fleet during World War Two, and is a superb
work of reference.
Two other Masons have helped with the
book. Malcolm Thompson gives an account
of his experiences when sunk in Empire
Hope in the huge losses sustained by Malta
Captain Pierre Payne has allowed his
daily log to be reproduced when he
commanded the 37 survivors of British
Chivalry, adrift for 37 days after being
sunk by a Japanese submarine, in which
20 crew died either in the torpedo attack
or the murderous machine gun attack on
the open boats.
The author was awarded the George
Medal and the Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery
at Sea in 1943 following his experiences.
MAX ARTHUR –|
AUTHOR OF THE QUARTER
Symbol of Courage by Max Arthur
(Sidgwick & Jackson, £25) was published
in June 2004 to commemorate the 150th
anniversary of the VC. The first medal
awarded was for action that took place
in the Crimea on 21st June 1854.
Thank you for agreeing an interview
What prompted your recent book on the
history of the Victoria Cross?
As a military historian I have always had
an interest in the quality ofcourage and
what makes anyone under the stress of
battle behave heroically.
In Symbol of Courage, I have detailed
the actions of all 1,354 holders of the VC
and they all make spellbinding reading.
Men such as Norman Jackson, who
clambered out on the wing of a bomber
at 22,000 feet to try and extinguish
an engine fire, and others who have
charged single-handed at a machine
gun or brought back a wounded man
under fire. All have an amazing story.
What is your next book?
Forgotten Voices of the Second World
War, a sequel to my last book Forgotten
Voices of the Great War, which was in
The Sunday Times top ten bestseller list
for 16 weeks.
When did you decide that you wanted to
become an author?
In 1983 I was working as an actor, but
decided to find the survivors of the
Manchester United Air Crash of 1958
to honour the 25th anniversary.
When writing a book, have you got a
preferred place of work and a favoured
In my study, which has lots of light but
has a lively street life. I usually have
breakfast and coffee and start work
about 11am and then see how the day
How do you relax between projects?
I take holidays with lots of books and
friends. I have just come back from
a week in Nice, my first break for
Who are your favourite authors?
Kipling, DH and TE Lawrence, and
among contemporary writers, John
Updike, and I am looking forward to
Ruth Cowen’s book on the French
Chef Alexis Soyer, due out next year.
Web site created by Mark Griffin