While researching his excellent earlier book: Veterans of World War I, author Richard Van Emden encountered a fascinating personality of that long-ago conflict. After witnessing German naval attacks on British civilians, Norman Collins enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders of the 51st Highland Division, even though he was under age. Collins fought at the battles of Beaumont Hamel, Arras, and Passchendaele, and was wounded several times.
Collins lived to be 100 and had an unusually detailed collection of letters, documents, illustrations and photographs. Richard Van Emden has written a moving biography of a unique personality at war, and his long life after the dramatic events of his youth.
About the Author
Richard van Emden has interviewed over 270 veterans of the Great War and has written widely on the 1914-18 conflict.
Previous books include Britain's Last Tommies, Boy Soldiers of the Great War, All Quiet on the Home Front, Prisoners of the Kaiser and the top five best-selling The Trench. He has visited the Somme and Ypres every year since 1985 and has an expert knowledge of the First World War battlefields.
The Author came across Norman Collins while researching his best selling TV tie-in book Veterans. He was immediately struck by this truly remarkable character, who was then over 100 years old. Sadly Norman has now died but Richard Van Emden had not been deterred from writing what is by any standard a most exhilarating memoir of an exceptional veteran.
He currently lives in London.
Richard van Emden interviewed 270 veterans of the Great War, has written extensively about the soldiers' lives, and has worked on many television documentaries, always concentrating on the human aspects of war, its challenge and its cost to the millions of men involved. Richard van Emden’s books have sold over 660,000 copies and have appeared in The Times’ bestseller chart on a number of occasions.
He has also worked on more than a dozen television programmes on the Great War, including the award-winning Roses of No Man’s Land, Britain’s Boy Soldiers, A Poem for Harry, War Horse: the Real Story, Teenage Tommies with Fergal Keane and most recently, Hidden Histories: WW1’s Forgotten Photographs. He lives in London.