Author Michael Morpurgo was so inspired by the story of Green Howard soldier Henry Tandey, that his latest novel is built around one of the most intriguing ‘what-ifs’ in modern military history.
Using the basis of the factual story of the most decorated private soldier of the First World War and mixing it with the less certain details of the possibility that Tandey had spared a young Hitler’s life at the Battle of Marcoing in 1918, Morpurgo’s book, ‘An Eagle in the Snow’ is out now.
Henry Tandey VC, DCM,MM saw action at Ypres, The Somme, Passchendaele and The Battle of Cambrai, regularly demonstrating extraordinary bravery leading bombing parties into the German trenches, taking prisoners, and being wounded on a number of occasions. Tandey was Mentioned in Despatches five times. He died in 1977 at the age of 86. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes buried in the Masnieres British Cemetery at Marcoing in France.
Morpurgo has won acclaim for his novels based on the historical events of the First World War, such as ‘Private Peaceful’ and ‘War Horse’. He says he had never intended to write another book set at that time, but once he heard Tandey’s story from a friend at the BBC, ‘An Eagle in the Snow’ followed.
‘An Eagle in the Snow’ is available from the museum shop.
We also stock ‘One Soldier and Hitler 1918’, which will be of interest to older readers.