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August 13, 2017

Harold Boardman: The Inspiration for A Pawn of Destiny

Julius Caesar, accepting the surrender of Verc...
Julius Caesar, accepting the surrender of Vercingetorix, was the final Dictator of the Roman Republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Political and economic history has always been of interest to me and to a certain extent, has helped with my understanding of my research into my family history. A timeline that stretches a mere 250 years. Our written past appears to be a long list of events detailing the lives and discoveries of Kings or Emperors, on a quest for more land, or merchants in search of undiscovered sources of wealth in far off, exotic lands. Surviving historical accounts name only the headline makers, those whose exploits match the design of the ruling class. Dismissed, with little or no regard, are the ordinary lives of all with whom they came into contact.

A Pawn of Destiny
August 2017
Recently we have been hearing stories from WW1, of long forgotten men, whose comrades perished in the mud of Flanders. My Great Uncle answered the call weeks after that conflict began. He spent many months training with his platoon in the 17th Manchester Battalion, before they finally embarked on the journey to France. Butchers, bakers, clerks under the affectionate name of 'Pals.' When the night long bombardment stopped, the advance was sounded and at 7 am on July 1st, 1916 the platoon, with the sound of the large guns still ringing in their ears, began its march across fields towards the enemy lines in the village of Montauban. 60,000 men were killed, wounded or missing on that one day. He was designated as 'killed in action' three months later. He has no known grave - he is a name on a monument in Northern France.

Two thousand years before that battle on the Somme, Julius Caesar's armies were marching across the same fields on the way to the coast and the invasion of Britannia. The final subjugation of the Celts in Gaul took several decades and reduced the population by half. Caesar, as victor, wrote in length of his victories against the fragile confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Arverni. Of the uncles, brother's father's and lovers of the slain and their families at, for example, Alesia we know naught.

A visit, some twelve years ago, to the museum at Bibracte in the Morvan hills in France, sparked the idea for a story. These pawns, of the aspirations of others, follow a timeline from Gaul to the opposite end of the Euro-Asiatic land mass, into the land of the Han Empire.

Available August 15
Buy A Pawn of Destiny at Amazon

About the Author:

A Pawn of Destiny is the first novel by Harold Boardman, also known as ‘Laird Glencairn’ online. Harold was born in Manchester in 1942 and attended Princess Road Primary school. He also attended St Margaret’s Central School, Chorlton Technical School and St John’s College. Before taking early retirement, Harold worked for the Electric Supply Industry for 33 years. In the intervening years, in addition to writing and researching the Boardman family history, he found time to travel to France, Italy, Corfu and China. Harold now lives in York and is a proud Granddad of five, Romey, Willow, Ben, Amelie and Alex. He believes that “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

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