March 16, 2012


Life in Jersey under the Occupation is explored in a new thriller which features an Island family as its heroes.

‘Farewell Leicester Square’ opens with Jersey awaiting the invading Nazi troops in 1940.

It highlights the strange calm of the so-called ‘Phony War’ and then the sudden shock of finding the first German soldiers had arrived.

“This period has fascinated historians because the Channel Island Occupation allows us the only opportunity to study the ‘British’ under the jackboot,” says author Jon Kilkade.

“I spent a lot of time here researching the Occupation, the way it was presented in the years after and how that view has been revised by some since.

“I think most islanders were remarkably resilient and many were incredibly brave.

“The central characters in my book do what they can to resist, in body and in spirit, and become embroiled in the efforts to keep an escaped Russian prisoner of war out of the Germans’ clutches.”

The book brings to life the escape of those who managed to leave St Helier and shows life inside Gloucester Prison and Victoria College House under the German Feldkommandantur.

A German raid on St Peter Port harbour, Guernsey, also features.

“There have been many questions over the years as to whether people could have done more,” says Kilkade, whose Jersey-born hero goes on to join the British clandestine force, the Special Operations Executive (SOE). “But the writing of islanders such as Peter Hassall and Paul Saunders reveals their courage and the extreme circumstances of being occupied by a military regime on a small island.”

Kilkade, who writes non-fiction under another name, said he hoped his novel would appeal to fans of wartime thrillers as well as those interested in life under the Occupation.

‘Farewell Leicester Square’ is published by Magic Rat Books as an e-book only through Amazon Kindle. [Search ‘Jon Kilkade’.]



Nominated for Wishing Shelf non-fiction award 2012

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