In Unremarkable: A Good Place to Start, author Blake Heathcote provides a completely updated and revised telling of the incredible story of John ‘Scruffy’ Weir: a Spitfire pilot in WWII, POW, key man in the infamous Great Escape, and a spy.
Drawing on skills he was taught by an Ojibway wilderness guide, and later in SOE commando training, Weir endures a fiery plane crash and four grim years in PoW camps. His crucible of survival is capped by a 350-mile trek forced march in sub-zero weather across Germany to the Baltic Sea in the last months of the war.
Blake Heathcote brings to life how Weir was trained – almost from birth – for conditions no-one could ever have anticipated. In this beautiful book, Heathcote paints a moving and affectionate portrait of an extraordinary man – and a true survivor.
Blake’s previous books include:
This new book from the Testaments of Honour Project is a stunning companion to the national bestseller Testaments of Honour. It is a collection of war photographs from the albums of veterans, men and women, in the navy, in the air force, in the army; from all theatres of war. These veterans share with us the face of the Second World War as it was seen by those who fought it.
Testaments of Honour was born by chance. Blake Heathcote had set out to archive his grandfather’s wartime scrapbooks and sketches, only to realize what a treasure the documents were. He decided to set out in his car to record the memories of other World War II veterans across Canada before it was too late. Much has been written about how the courage of the wartime generation transformed Canada from a small rural society into one of the world’s main armed powers. But if there is a unifying thread in Heathcote’s book, it is that war is a horrifying thing that must be avoided at all costs. In bringing together such voices, most never heard before, Blake Heathcote has made a valuable contribution to the literature of war. – Alex Roslin/Amazon
I recommend you read the story of John ‘Scruffy’ Weir, a key figure in WWII’s Great Escape, and a most ‘unremarkable’ man.