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Sopwith Camel

The Larks

My first full-length novel, The Larks was first published in 2013. It follows the progress of a young pilot joining his first squadron posting in 1916. I've worked hard to make it believable, particularly with regard to the capabilities of the machines of the time. I wanted to avoid the swooping rat-at-at-tat that we've all seen so many times and to try to get inside the ordinary people who were called on to fight the world's first mechanised war.

This page is intended to give you an idea of what to expect if you haven't read it, or to be a companion reference if you have.

The Aircraft   Glossary   The Larks on Amazon

The Players

Here's a brief sketch of the main players whom I hope you'll come to know almost as well as I did.

Andy Palmer

Born: 1st July 1896, Erdington, Birmingham
Initial rank: Second Lieutenant

A trainee draughtsman in civilian life, Andy joined the Royal Flying Corps early in 1916. His initial piloting skills are relatively unimpressive but he quickly learns to survive long enough to become competent. Sensitive and mercurial, he struggles to make sense of a world where fear becomes an addicition

Colin Hingley

Born: 18th November 1894, Ipswich, Suffolk
Initial Rank: Second Lieutenant

The son of a bishop, Colin has a relaxed, matter of fact view of life that seems to make him immune to the pressures and demands of front-line survival. Unlike Andy, he's an instinctive pilot with conspicuous skills from his first day on the squadron.

Stainton Hamilton

Born: 3rd April 1895, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire
Initial Status: Volunteer Nurse, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry

Stainton is the daughter of Connie Hamilton, an acolyte of the privileged Paris café society. Despite her mother's somewhat Bohemian outlook, Stainton is reserved and individual. She's fiercely intelligent and has inherited her mother's energy and ambition, making her a powerful force.

Cuthbert "Cubby" McConnachie

Born: 24th January 1876, Condobolin, New South Wales
Initial Rank: First Lieutenant

Cubby joined the Australian Imperial Force in 1914. He was seriously injured in Gallipoli and joined the RFC for pilot training after his recovery. He volunteered as an observer before completing his pilot's ticket and joined 128 squadron in this capacity in January 1916.

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Penkhull Press

Both The Larks and It Never Was Worthwhile are published by Penkhull Press. You can visit their website or view their latest blog post by clicking below


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