The progress of; ‘The Abandoned Soldier, Reflections of War’.

On the 6th November 2010, ‘The Abandoned Soldier, Reflections of War’, was launched at The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire. The Readings were carried out in The Millennium Chapel and was attended by approximately 60 people.

A selection of verse from the book was read by; Owen Black, Angharad Rogers, Kate Wood, Jean Luc Alvarez and Lucy Metcalf. The author also spoke some words and James Napier elaborated on the inspiration and reason behind the materialisation of the sculpture, ‘The Abandoned Soldier’ (TAS). Alison Jones provided a superb rendition of her song; ‘The Soldier’s Wife’.

BBC Central news and reporters from The Daily Star and The Daily Express were present. To sum up the day the TAS project received a gracious welcome from the NMA, its staff and all of those who were in attendance and all those who took part. A success in some small part, though the greatest mountains are yet to be climbed.


Tuesday 9th November 2010

A signing arranged at Waterstone’s Books in Abergavenny. On arrival I was greeted with , ‘There are no books to sign’ an apparent lack of communication with the Waterstone’s central hub. No real apology and no re arrangement to date. I offer a personal apology to all those who took time to turn up and were disappointed. If signed copies are requested please speak to Helen at Silverwood books and I will be only too pleased to help.

Thursday 11th November 2010 (Armistice Day)

Booth’s Books in Hay on Wye. A poignant day to attend a signing based on such a ‘controversial’ subject. Greeted by Helen who offer the most glorious setting for anyone to meet and discuss poetry. I was met on the dot by a gentleman called Mick. He related his story and then wrote this for me;


When I’m alone and dreamgazing

at the stars,

memory stirs

like some long forgotten monster,

not dead

but only cold and sleeping.


And when risen it all but tears my soul

And throws the pieces

against the black of the velvet night sky.

© Mick


If there had only been one book sold and this man had bought it, then, that is thanks enough because I met this man and shall meet him again. So thank you for a first foray into Hay as a poet and to Booths Books the most classical of bookshops. If you are there go and see it, you will see what I mean.


I also met Mrs Davies my primary school teacher whom I had not seen in over 30 years. Cool day x


Friday 12th November 2010

An apology started the day to Josephine at Verzon Books in Llandrindod Wells. I was mediating between the media and the NMA. Context can be so crucial and we often seek not to see how many there are in the language we speak. I arrived out of breath slightly late to a welcome cup of tea. So my utmost thanks to Verzon for another fantastic day and too all those who came and said hello.


Saturday 20th November 2010


A cold Saturday morning in November and a Station that had not been used for purpose in many many years greeted us with the new day and Michael. Erwood Station Arts Centre made us feel welcome. Teas and Coffees all round. Again thanks to those who came, Tony from RBL Builth Wells and to my friend Maureen whom I met last year whilst listening to Wendy Cope read. Welcome faces as you walk in from the cold.


So thank you to all whom gave time and effort to make this possible and engage in the bigger picture.


There are no more plans to have anymore signings by if I can add to a reading that anyone is arranging, please ask, I would be privileged


Thanks to all those who give time and effort and so much more to engage with the TAS Project.







About theabandonedsoldier

I was commissioned by the BBC for a documentary to highlight the problems faced by many of our service men and women who once they leave the forces often find themselves abandoned by the country they served.
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