Recently, on a writing website I made contact with a Mister Theodore Knell.
Mister Knell is an old soldier who put down his experiences in the form of stories, poems and prose and then collated them into a book.
Theodore Knell served in the Cavalry, (17/21st Lancers), the Paras and then ended up at Hereford so he has a few tales to swing the lantern with, to say the least.
Like a lot of the forgotten generation of soldiers who fought between WW2 and Afghanistan, he never enjoyed the popularity that the armed forces are, quite rightly afforded today and his conflicts are relegated to history books and exam questions.
Who today thinks of Aden, Rhodesia, Northern Ireland and the Falklands when we read every day about some hideous atrocity in Iraq or Afghanistan?
Nobody, least of all the old warriors who fought and watched their comrades die there, talks of these conflicts anymore and yet Theo still does.
His book is, in his words, “…a sort of banishing the demons thing” and though short, it does give us all a glimpse into the mind of a man who has had, to say the least, a hard life.
From being given up by his mother to standing at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day, Theo takes us through his life and I found it compulsive reading.
The poems are not what the normal man on the street would call poems; they do not rhyme and the syntax and rhythm are often all to pot: However, the words come straight from his subconscious.
The stories are short and understated but through the microcosm of what he portrays we can understand the dire situations he often found himself in.
I read this in a oner, it is only short, (with pictures, 98 pages) and I enjoyed it.
Take it for what it is, the writings and recollections of an old warrior and you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t like poetry then simply read the verse as a story because that’s what they nearly all are; tales of battles past.
The book can be downloaded for free. Click on the Smiley and all will be revealed.