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I was born in Doncaster, an industrial town in the heart of South Yorkshire, the son of an Irish RAF Officer and an Anglo-Welsh mother. My father was posted to a new  RAF station every few years, so I started life as a nomad. They had travelled extensively, but decided to settle in Bournemouth, a pleasant seaside town on the south coast, where I went to school. I moved to London to study civil engineering which seemed a good solution to combine work and travel. My career took me all round the world, including the Middle East, Nigeria, Hong Kong, China and Japan working with some of the world’s best consultants and contractors from many different nationalities, and in unusual places. I was based in Hong Kong for twenty years, working on the construction of major bridges.

 

In 2015 I retired to Canterbury to write. I started with a biography of a Victorian explorer, anti-slaver and administrator Sir Frederick Lugard and his wife Dame Flora Shaw, the first woman Colonial editor of the Times. I was related to them by marriage, and found them both fascinating characters of the late Victorian era.

 

The book took four years to research and publish, but I had started initial research ten years earlier. The Passionate Imperialists was published in late 2018.

 

I started researching for the next book immediately. It relates the stories of the passengers and crew on a regular flight from London to Naples involved in a mid-air collision over Italy in 1958. My elder brother was one of the crew. It started from a chance call in 2018 from the son of the radio officer on the flight, and involved flying to Italy for the 60th commemoration service, a memorable visit to Malta, and a long awaited trip to Ireland. It has been a very moving and enlightening journey, and uncovering many new facts about the tragedy. The Flight of the Arctic Fox was published on 7 September 2021.

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