Wasted Years, Wasted Lives: The British Army in Northern Ireland

Volume 1 - 1975-77

Ken Wharton

Date Published :
July 2015
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
75 b/w photos, 3 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781910777411
Pages : 430
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
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Over the past several years, Ken Wharton, himself a former soldier, has been prolific in his coverage of the Troubles, which spread their tentacles far from the streets, and fields of Northern Ireland. Over 4,000 people died in or as a consequence of them and it cost the lives of over 1,300 British soldiers - a fact which is unacknowledged by the MOD - and the lives of over 300 policemen and women. This is Ken's sixth book about the period and he draws on meticulous and detailed research, first-hand testimony of the soldiers who trod the same streets as himself, and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the near 30-year period of murder, violence and civil war. The first-hand accounts help us to understand and examine the fears of the young soldiers who patrolled the dangerous streets of the Ardoyne and New Lodge, of Andersonstown, Turf Lodge and Ballymurphy and of the Creggan in Londonderry and the Derrybeg in Newry. He looks at the Loyalist paramilitaries and treats their sectarianism and mindless murder with the same contempt with which he treats the Republicans. He does not mince words about the Irish-Americans and their political stooges in the US Government, judicial system and the ordinary '7th generation Irishmen of the American East Coast.' This is a book not just for soldiers, but for anyone who wishes to look back and try to understand the madness inflicted upon several generations of innocent Irish and British people. In years to come, historians - both social and military - will reflect on this period of insanity with a greater knowledge than hitherto. If you wish to know how it felt to be an innocent sectarian victim, or an off-duty soldier or policeman or a young lad from Leeds, Liverpool or London hard targeting through the Lower Falls, then this book is a must read.

About The Author

Ken Wharton is 59 and is resident now in Australia with his partner Helen. Father of seven and grandfather to three with a fourth pending, he is a skydiver and former football referee. He is also a former soldier and now author of three oral histories on the Northern Ireland troubles. He writes from the perspective of the British soldier as he seeks to put across their story of a conflict, largely forgotten by both Government and public, which claimed the lives of around 1300 military lives. / He has only been writing since 2007 but is planning a further oral history of the troubles, a book on the Australians in Vietnam and a childrens' science fiction book over the next year or two. / There is a clamour from veterans of the Northern Ireland conflict to tell their story and ensure that the truth comes out and in Ken Wharton they have found a conduit for those stories and a man they can trust to ensure that the truth is finally told about the conflict which raged not only a short 30 minute flight from home but also on our own doorsteps.


“Ken Wharton’s remarkable work rolls on, a monumental feat of history writing.”

- Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Bomber Boys and 3 Para

“The spirit of honour, brotherhood, superlative soldiering and true grit lives on in Ken Wharton’s new volume about The Troubles. Read it – lest we forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice, fighting the scourge of terrorism across the water.”

- Damien Lewis, bestselling author of Zero 6 Bravo and Firestrike 7/9

“Ken Wharton captures the authentic voice of the British soldier at the height of what is generally known as the Irish Troubles but was in fact a war … A master storyteller, he produces a rich and magnificent tapestry. Packed with new information and telling detail, Wasted Years is not just a gripping narrative but also an important contribution to military and Irish history.”

- Toby Harnden, author of Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh and Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards & the Defining Story of Britain’s War in Afghanistan

“Nobody does Northern Ireland like Ken and nobody tries harder to tell the stories of the men that soldiered and died, policed and patrolled, cried and bled, or lived and wept on the Emerald Isle than he.

- Steven McLaughlin, bestselling author of Squaddie

“… a powerful testament to the plain soldier of the British Army. That hero speaks out in these pages. He and she held the line during the dark years. Their victory, their courage and their humanity remind us that in human affairs, yes, sometimes the good guys really do win.”

- Kevin Myers, bestselling author of Watching the Door: Cheating Death

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