Home by Christmas front coverWe all have in our recent ancestry a relative who fought for their country in the Great War of 1914-1918. Many of these heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice. The rest returned home to find their lives changed forever. The deep-rooted, almost feudal, class system of the Victorian age was breaking down. The role of women had altered.

In August 1914 when these young men first marched into war they were not professional solders. Some were no more than boys looking for an adventure — out to kill the wicked Hun. They were led to believe that it would all be over in a matter of months.

Home By Christmas, by Bridget Beresford and Richard Waygood, tells the compelling story of such young men. The book, although gripping fiction, is historically accurate.

Upper-class Captain Andrew Harrington-West leads his cavalrymen, all of whom are from different social backgrounds, through one hazardous escapade and into another. Danger is never far away. The many twists and turns will keep you turning pages as you experience, with the soldiers, the horror and the love born of war. They face the terror of the trenches and the frustrating fear of unknown spies. The bleak sadness of death is alleviated by the staunch camaraderie of this tight-knit unit of cavalrymen. But the actions of a fellow horseman provokes so much anger in them that, in spite of their fierce comradeship, they turn against him — one of their own, an enemy in the camp.

The injustices to the beautiful Francine together with the idiosyncrasies of the Victorian class system will keep you guessing. Whether you are for it or against it, this same class system will also bring an officer and a gentleman to justice forcing him to face the consequences of his actions.

The emotional roller coaster of this well-written, well-researched book will leave you wanting more. Available on Amazon UK as a paperback and Kindle: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009ODMT8K

About the authors

Major Richard Waygood MBE joined the Household Cavalry as a Trooper at the age of 16.

He rose up through the ranks to hold the highly prestigious appointment of Riding Master. Within this role he was responsible for training the soldiers and horses in preparation for ceremonial parades such as The Queen’s Birthday Parade.

Richard evented to international level and rode several horses for The Queen. He left the army in 2009 to embark on the next chapter of his career when he became chef d’equipe to the British Dressage team. He enjoyed great success at the London Olympics where the team won both the team and individual gold medals.

He is also the chef d’equipe/coach to the 2-star British Eventing Squad who won team gold at the 2011 European Championships.

He is a much sought-after trainer, holding many clinics in this country as well as overseas, including Germany, Spain, India and the Middle East. He also gives motivational talks.

Richard is assistant director of the British Military Tournament and an ambassador for the Brooke Hospital Charity. His wealth of cavalry knowledge and passion for the cavalry throughout the ages has added colour and authenticity to this captivating and enthralling novel.

Bridget Beresford spent several years hunting in the great forests of Northern France, often riding over WWI battlefields. She heard many anecdotes from Great War veterans and their surviving relatives.

While there, she was deeply moved by the immense bravery of the men who went out to fight in what was called “the war to end all wars”.  When she had to return to England she always remembered the tragic and courageous personal stories of those old soldiers and French civilians who described the hell that they had had to live through.

Once in England she set up her own yard breaking and schooling horses and also training and riding point-to-pointers and eventers. She now suffers with rheumatoid arthritis and can no longer ride, because, she explains, “falling off causes too many problems”.

She is a dressage judge. Her first book, Bolted, a murder/mystery set in the worlds of dressage and eventing, is also available on Amazon UK.