I am delighted to announce today that my latest e-book ‘Heroes of The Line’ has now been launched on Amazon Kindle. Priced at £2.49 it tells the story of my Cycling the Line tour of the Western Front as well as uncovering some of the soldiers that are buried or commemorated in the many cemeteries and memorials up and down the front. Each sale of the book raises money for the Royal British Legion.
Working on the book has allowed me ample to time look back upon the trip. This wasn’t one of those organised trips where all your kit is carried in a van and you have nice comfy hotels booked for you in the evenings. No sir. We (I rode with one of my mates – Steve) rode completely un-aided, we carried all of our kit ourselves, we had no support at all. We did stay in hotels, but they were the cheapest we could find. It was simply two guys, two bikes and about 550 miles of Western Front!
In hindsight we were woefully under prepared, totally under equipped, massively under trained (well I was anyhow) and generally a bit naive. My bike was a 4 year old Halfords special and Steve bought his from eBay for fifty quid. Looking back I am amazed we managed to do what we did. We raised £3,500 for The Royal British Legion, which, in the middle of a world wide recession, was pretty good going.
This book keeps the story going
It re-kindles some of the stories (some funny, some cringe-worthy) that were generated along the way and re-discovers some of the heroes that are buried in cemeteries, perfectly manicured and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, along ‘The Line’.
Their stories are much more worthy than our silly bike ride and if I could I would have written about every single one of them. Sadly this just isn’t possible. Instead there are just eight men represented here. Eight men who fought and died during the First World War and whose final resting place is ‘a foreign field’.
I have tried to include men with a mix of different ranks and backgrounds. They range from members of the ordinary rank and file, through to junior officers right up to Brigade Commanders. Some were professional soldiers who served in the Boer War, some simply signed on the dotted line to answer Kitchener’s call. Some won multiple gallantry awards; others were not officially recognised for any act of bravery at all. I have tried to select a mix of disciplines too, with line infantry, artillery and the air force all represented.
Raising Money For The Royal British Legion
This e-book also continues to raise money for a very important charity. For every copy of this e-book that is sold, £1 will be donated to The Royal British Legion. The RBL looks after thousands of servicemen and women (and their families) from numerous conflicts ranging from The Second World War through to Afghanistan and Iraq. This is our small way of saying thank you to those who have served and continue to serve with the British Armed Forces.
This is how the fundraising will work:
I have a justgiving page which was used for the original cycle ride: http://www.justgiving.com/cyclingtheline What I plan to do is to donate a lump sum each month from the sales of the book. Amazon pay royalties every month, but they wait a month or so to pay. So for sales in August I will get the Amazon payment in October. Once I get the payment from Amazon I will donate the relevant cash to the page, it will be at least £1 per book sold. This way you can all see exactly how much is being raised each month. I will also blog about the donation to make sure everyone can see how the book is doing.
I really hope this book is a success so we can raise loads more money for an important charity, so if you want to see what we got up to on the trip, and want to read some inspiring stories of true heroes that fought and died ‘in a foreign field’ then buy the book and help a great cause!