Hi there, welcome to my webpage for my books and general ramblings. A little about me so you can identify with the odd things that go on inside my head. I was born in Canterbury in 1957 and had a duel career as an Insurance assessor/team leader, and concurrently, a member of the reserve army where I served for 27 years. I retired in 2013 and together with my wife Sue, have travelled extensively both in Europe and in the Caribbean. I came to writing very late, I was asked to write my army memoirs which I eventually did in 2016. I had the family archives of papers and photographs going back four generations. With encouragement from Sue I wrote Hell in my Head, the story of 3 generations of my family and their struggles with PTSD though conflict. I am a strong supporter of the regimental museum in Dover castle and Mental Health champion for the PWRR association. What time I have left involves herding the chickens, cats and the dog around the property ensuring they don’t have us over (Again!)
I have four books available for purchase with several more going through the publishing stages.
I have exciting news to share! Over the last three years I have been writing my childhood memories, today I can reveal that the both the Kindle E version and the paperback are now available on Amazon worldwide. Memories of a Kentish village – a childhood spent in more innocent times, is a piece of work dedicated to the memory of my father Fred Bennett. ALL the proceeds of the Kindle version and the paperback will be split between the two parish churches where I grew up. The foreword has been written by Sir Michael Morpurgo, who lived in Wickhambreaux when I was growing up. He has likened the book to the Cider with Rosie and Lark rise to Candleford of East Kent, praise indeed! A free Kindle app is available for phones and tablets from Play store or the Apple App store. Please see the most recent testimonial; Hello John,
I enjoyed very much reading about your early childhood around the villages I know so well – I often walk through those places, which I am pleased to say haven’t changed an awful lot apart from traffic. It brought back a lot of my childhood memories as I too spent 6 or 7 years of my young life living in the countryside with farms nearby where we would play with their children, carefree days and our parents didn’t seem to worry that we would be gone for hours, children today may have a lot more than we did, but we made our own fun and as you say no mod cons, often we were without water as the pipes would be frozen and we had to wait for my dad to come home to unfreeze them, I seem to put as many clothes on going to bed as I did when I got up !!
Thank you once again.
‘Hell in my Head’ is the story of three generations of my family who have has PTSD as a result of conflict. Its charts their stories and the treatment (or lack of it) they received at that time.
I wrote my memoirs of my time serving in the TA back in 2016, The Memories of a Rusty Cold war Warrior is now only available in Kindle format. I produced 250 copies in paperback to give donations to our Regimental museum in Dover.
The third book available is a satirical look at life in the first lock down. The Locked down Tiger who came to Tee, is the day by day look at the steadily more ridiculous antics of neighbours as we progressed through times of uncertainty and nervousness.
I am also working on a fascinating project at the moment which will be available in 2022. I am in possession of the correspondence, documents and artefacts belonging to my Grandfather. His eldest son was killed in Crete in WW2, I am writing the story of the letters exchanged between them, until the the day before he died. I then chart the frantic letter writing between my Grandad to the War Office trying to find details of his grave. This book will be titled ‘The Letters’ it is the follow up to Hell in my Head where my Grandads story is investigated in depth.