Over the past several years, Ken Wharton, himself a former soldier, has been prolific in his coverage of the Troubles which spread their tentacles far from the streets ands fields of Northern Ireland. Over 4,000 people died in or as a consequence of them and it cost the lives of over 1,300 British soldiers - a fact which is unackwledged by the MOD - and the lives of over 300 policemen and women. This is Ken's sixth book about the period and he draws on meticulous and detailed research, first-hand testimony of the soldiers who trod the same streets as himself, and an almost encyclopaedic kwledge of the near 30 year period of murder, violence and civil war. The first-hand accounts help us to understand and examine the fears of the young soldiers who patrolled the damgerous streets of the Ardoyne and New Lodge, of Andersonstown, Turf Lodge and Ballymurphy and of the Creggan in Londonderry and the Derrybeg in Newry. He looks at the Loyalist paramilitaries and treats their sectariansim and mindless murder with the same contempt with which he treats the Republicans. He does t mince words about the Irish-Americans and their political stooges in the US Government, judicial system and the ordinary '7th generation Irishmen of the American East Coast.' This is a book t just for soldiers, but for anyone who wishes to look back and try and understand the madness inflicted upon several generations of incent Irish and British people. In years to come, historians - both social and military - will reflect on this period of insanity with a greater kwledge than hitherto. If you wish to kw how it felt to be an incent sectarian victim, or an off-duty soldier or policeman or a young lad from Leeds, Liverpool or London hard targeting through the Lower Falls, then this book is a must read.
Ken Wharton is in his mid-60s but retains a youthful, though deeply knowledgeable and experienced view of the Northern Ireland troubles. It was said by one military historian that: '... nobody does Northern Ireland quite like Ken Wharton.' Living on Australia's sun-kissed Gold Coast, he divides his time between there and his native UK. He returns to Britain as often as he can and still makes an annual pilgrimage to Ulster to lay his own ghosts and to remember the fallen of Britain's forgotten war. A former football referee in the tough West Yorkshire League and with 500 skydives under his belt, he retains a young man's view of the world, whilst at the same time, retaining his grip on reality.