“46 Miles” by Jarra Brown MBE
Book launch at Best Seller Bookshop, Karakum
By Margaret Sheard…..
Jarra Brown has been promoting his book “46 Miles” in the UK but he found time in his very busy schedule to undertake a book-signing here in North Cyprus at Best Seller Bookshop in Karakum on Monday 14th September.
We have given some promotion to the book previously and went along to Best Seller Bookshop for the signing and to see how the book was being received. While at the book shop there was a steady stream of people coming in to purchase a signed copy of the book and Jarra had a video showing the processions through Wootton Bassett in the UK, which I must say I found very heart wrenching.
Having read some extracts from the book when doing the cyprusscene promotion I found myself near to tears and although I am looking forward to reading the book, which I know is an account of the way in which the fallen servicemen were brought home with dignity, I also expect to shed some tears at the sensitive way in which it has been written. How on earth Jarra dealt with this on such a personal basis is unbelievable.
When Jarra Brown hears church bells he cannot fail to be reminded of the hundreds – 345 to be precise – of service personnel who passed through the beautiful rural Wiltshire countryside into Oxfordshire. These men and women were not hiking across its green pastures or sitting on top of the number 55 bus, instead they were lifeless, resting inside a coffin draped with the Union flag. By the end of August 2011 the bells of St Bartholomew’s Church in Wootton Bassett had tolled more times than the residents of this once peaceful town cared to think about, for each chime represented the moment the police convoy accompanying the hearse from RAF Lyneham entered the High Street.
A moment frozen in time, a moment when the residents of this town came to show their respects, a moment that couldn’t have been more fitting even if 46 Miles had been choreographed. There was no call to arms by the Town Crier, just a spontaneous, modest and unprompted response to those who had paid the ultimate price in the name of duty.
46 Miles is not a book about the politics of war, the whys and wherefores of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, or indeed the hidden agendas and government strategies. It is about a town which captured the hearts of our nation and whose emotions rippled the entire 46 mile journey of honour, dignity and respect into Oxford. It is dedicated to those 345 people who, having signed up to serve their Queen and country, paid with their lives. Wootton Bassett, who nurtured the grieving on every occasion, wanted to let the nation know that these heroes will never be forgotten.
About the Author
A former Army Commando soldier, Jarra joined the police in 1990, serving 22 years and retired in March 2012. He was the instrumental link between the Police and the military over the repatriations through Wootton Bassett and was awarded the MBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List.
Jarra will be giving a presentation at the Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch, meeting on 14th October at Le Chateau Lambousa in Lapta and we would recommend people to go along and hear what Jarra has to say. Immediately following the presentation Jarra will be jetting back to the UK to continue with promotion and book-signing at many places throughout the country. Jarra will be donating funds from the proceeds of his book to “Scotty’s Little Soldiers” a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved British Forces’ children. While we were at the Book Shop, Jarra also suggested displaying their RBL collection box for people to make a donation to RBL if they so wished.
We wish Jarra every success with his book. He told us that many people urged him to write this when they were aware of what a beautiful story it is and although he was a little apprehensive at the start he found that suddenly the words just flowed and so the story was created – a very fitting tribute to those 345 people who passed through Wootton Bassett.
Following Jarra Brown’s radio interview with Denise Phillips for her Main Event programme on Bayrak International Radio, Jarra wrote an article about this experience which included the music he had chosen and also a video, together with a review by Denise Phillips of the interview which she found very emotional and moving. To see this please click here
More photos of the book signing of “46 Miles” by Jarra Brown MBE at Best Seller Bookshop in Karakum.