Wednesday 5 April 2017

A Discovering Diamonds review of: COLOUR SERGEANT CHESNEY VC by Steven Baker

Amazon UK £8.99 £3.99
Amazon US $4.97 $7.94
Amazon CA $7.07

England and India

‘At the outset of the Boer War, two former soldiers meet by chance at a London dockside.    One of the soldiers is Harry Chesney, a former Colour Sergeant and Victoria Cross winner. Together they recount the captivating events of their lives in the regiment in India.’

Harry Chesney was a workhouse boy who found his true self in the British army. He was popular and respected and distinguished himself in battle by winning the Victoria Cross. But then came an attack during an uprising in north west India: Harry and a newspaper reporter are the only survivors and Harry's story of the events is questioned, resulting in a court martial. To add to his problems of life, Harry has also promised to look after the illegitimate son of a former colleague and friend who had died in the troubles.

This is a nice gentle book which, for the most part, concentrates more on the relationships between soldiers rather than any military action, which are recalled in a series of flashbacks. I would have liked to have learned more of the events that led to Harry being awarded the VC, and perhaps a little more detail of his life immediately after leaving the army, for the book is rather short and there is plenty of opportunity for expansion of the protagonist and indeed, other characters. It took me a little time to get into the story but once there, I quite enjoyed meeting Harry and sharing a little of his interesting fictional life.

© Richard Tearle
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