Troubador Refuse to Forget

Released: 28/05/2014

ISBN: 9781783063130

eISBN: 9781783067350

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Refuse to Forget


"My dear lady, why don't you go home and sit still?" So, in August 1914, the War Office dismissed Lady Hester Dunranald's offer to ‘do her bit.’ And if it hadn’t been for 14 year-old Harry Butler’s love of cars – and his desperation to ‘see action’ that made him lie about his age – at home she would have stayed. Instead, Harry drives Lady Hester’s private ambulance across the channel to Belgium, where he, Lady Hester and her two female companions rescue wounded as the beleaguered Belgian army strains to hold the German invaders. Once the British Army has again rejected Lady Hester's offer of help! When the Belgians open the sea dykes in a final desperate attempt to block the German advance, the ambulance crew is caught up in the ensuing chaos. Blundering behind the German lines, they evade death at the hands of marauding Uhlans, only to be mistaken for the inmates of a German Army brothel. Capture condemns them to be shot as spies in Ypres, where the Kaiser intends to celebrate the imminent final conquest of Belgium. John Bishops’s third novel shows the drift into a war no one wanted. Its initial, shocking reality is seen through the eyes of Harry, a 14-year-old boy who, caught up in the hysteria of the time, bluffs his way into seeing action ­– and sees far more than he bargained for. When even just surviving becomes a form of purgatory, Harry only has the desire to forget... Refuse to Forget is a novel that takes its characters into a cataclysmic war that will change their worlds forever.

'The Chinese Attack: Ypres 1917' is the second edition of the 2011 paperback, currently available as a Matador ebook but re-issued in paperback format. This will coincide with the centenary of the foundation of the Chinese Labour Corps in early 1917.

'Will There Be Toilets on Delos?' is scheduled for release on 28 August 2021.

Historical Novel Society

Shropshire Star

Books Monthly, April/May

Book Babe, 25 April

Female First, 23 April

John Bishop’s third novel returns to the First World war era with underage Harry’s love of cars and his desire to see some action taking us on a non-stop adventure in war torn Belgium.
Using historical facts to provide the backdrop on this cleverly woven fictional yarn we have the narrator, Harry, trying to come to terms with the cultural mix of his female companions including the well-intentioned Lady Hester and the drama of the opening months of the War unfolding in front of him.
Events swing back and forth, as they battle to do their bit for the injured soldiers, frequently fighting not only the enemy but also the also British bureaucracy. As things go from bad to worse with the imminent prospect of facing a firing squad we begin to fear the worst for Harry and his band of females up against the Kaiser’s war machine.
This story helps highlight the prejudices and issues of the day, which do not end with the war as Harry struggles to resolve the conflict and confusion in his young life. Can he overcome? We are left hanging until the last page.

by Rob Innis

 John Bishop

John Bishop was born in Heswall on the Wirral and now lives in Codsall near Wolverhampton. Originally an English teacher, he was for six years a College Principal in Birmingham.

'The Chinese Attack', his first novel and originally published by Vanguard in 2011, was inspired by his grandfather's involvement as a sergeant with the Chinese Labour Corps on the Western Front in WW1.

His second novel, 'Love, Freedom or Death', derives from a long-running love affair with Greece. His third novel, 'Refuse to Forget', emerged from a fascination with the way WW1 started and drew people into a cataclysm they could never have imagined.

During Lockdown2 he decided to complete a project he'd envisaged several years earlier, namely a personal guide to the Greek islands for the nervous traveller, with the title 'Will There be toilets on Delos?'

John Bishop
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