Cancelled – due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for the disappointment and inconvenience this may cause. People with tickets, please return them to the Vale & Downland Museum or festival box office for a refund.
On August 21, 1915, Rachel Billington’s grandfather Brigadier-General Thomas, Earl of Longford, was killed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. His body was never found and her grandmother, who had six young children, continued to believe he would emerge from a Turkish hospital or prison camp.
Join us at The Beacon, Wantage, on Monday, October 26 at 3.30pm to hear Rachel Billington’s account of Glory, the novel inspired by her heroic grandfather, who was probably burned, dead or alive, in the fires all around Scimitar Hill.
Glory is the tale of three people, their friends and families whose lives are torn apart by that tragic campaign 100 years ago.
Using her grandfather’s military history, and drawing on family letters and diaries, Billington takes us from Turkey to England, from Egypt to Malta, to the soldiers at the front and the women at home. She tells of the lives lost, the hearts broken, the decisions cast, the errors made and of the dark reality of the heroic dream.
“The dream of snatching Constantinople and opening the gateway to Russia was a powerful one,” says Billington.
“But as I continued to research and write the story, I became more and more clear that it really had been only a fantastical dream, hatched up by politicians in London with no real understanding of the enormous difficulties.
“Unfortunately, it had to be fought by brave men like my grandfather, who gave their lives out of duty or patriotism. If there is any glory, it is all theirs. Sometimes I find the waste of lives almost unbearable.”
Rachel Billington has written 21 previous novels, as well as 10 books for children and several non-fiction works. She is a journalist, feature writer, reviewer and co-editor of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners.
She has four children, five grandchildren and lives in London and Dorset.
Monday, October 26. The Beacon, Wantage. 3.30pm. Ticket: £6
Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.
Online booking closes 22 October.