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The Last Casualty by Andrew Leatham


Belgium, 1917.

Wilf joined up at seventeen, wanting to do his bit.

But now he is broken by the death and human agony surrounding him. The smell of the rotting corpses, the vermin gnawing on the corpses in No Mans Land, has all been too much.

After a brief period of R and R, he knows he cannot return to the line, but off he is sent. When his courage falters, he’s charged with cowardice, court martialled, and shot at dawn.

Lancashire England, 1995.

Joanne Neally’s grandmother has died. While cleaning out her house, she finds the telegram that informed her family of the death of her great grandfather, simple and unpunctuated.

Regret to inform you Private 792163 Isherwood Wilfred 3rd Batt Pennine Fusiliers died of gunshot wounds Ypres August 22 1917

Joanne is moved to tears by the telegram, but it is the diary she finds next that will change her life forever, for Wilf Isherwood detailed his experiences at Passchendaele, one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles of the Great War. A battle that cost the lives of half a million men, and changed the landscape of Belgium forever.

Joanne, who is in an unhappy marriage, decides to clear Wilf’s name. It is obvious he was suffering from shell shock, and a pardon is in order.

As she enlists help from the local legion, she discovers a man at a care home who knew her great grandfather. The more he tells her about the horrors they saw, the more determined Joanne is to clear Wilf’s name.

But as her job and her marriage fall apart, everyone around her wonders about her loyalty to a man she never met, and how much she is willing to pay to clear his name.

Rich with detail of the life of a soldier during the Great War, the Last Casualty is an ode to a time that forever changed the world.

Praise for Andrew Leatham

“A brilliant page-turner.” – Tom Kasey, best-selling author of Trade-Off.

“Chilling and realistic. A five-star read.” – Robert Foster, best-selling author of The Lunar Code.

Andrew Leatham is a former national newspaper and television journalist, turned public relations consultant. He lives in Lancashire.

Genre: Literary Fiction