The Ulster Songbook
During my time as a songwriter, both with my former partner Rob Van Spyk from Stonefield Tramp, and in my solo work. Several songs have been written based on my thoughts, feelings and personal experience of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'.

Some time ago, I was watching the festival of remembrance at the Royal Albert hall, and Isla St Claire sang a couple of First World War Folk songs. 'Why don't they get up to date?' I thought. This gave me the idea to put together a collection of our songs to create The Ulster Songbook compilation album.

It was whilst I was recording some new songs that I wished to include in my project, that the Northern Ireland Veteran's Association was formed. I joined and decided to turn my proposed CD into a charitable venture to raise funds for NIVA.

And now to Ken's book. A Long, Long War. Why it took so long for a book like this to be published, I have no idea! But at last! Here it is, and what a book, and all power to Ken's elbow for making it happen! There are some harrowing stories within these pages!

I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the contemporary social history of our country. I am also highly honoured to have some of my writing in this book. Thank you Ken, you have done all of us Northern Ireland Veteran's proud!

A powerful look at the Troubles from the perspective of the ordinary British soldier

Bullets, Bombs and Cups of Tea: Further Voices of the British Army in Northern Ireland 1969-98
Ken Wharton

Published June 2009, £25, ISBN: 978 1 906033 34 7

Publisher: Helion & Company, available from Casemate

"The IRA was not a motley crew of red-haired, country bumpkins, with charming picture book Irish accents and armed with obsolete World War One weapons. They were an implacable, increasingly professional, terrorist organisation, backed in the main by the Irish-Americans and they were very good at doing what they did best; killing us."

Many accounts have been written about the Troubles, but what was it like for the ordinary British soldier patrolling such notorious areas as the Bogside, the Ballymurphy Estate, the Turf Lodge or Crossmaglen?

Following on from Ken Wharton's acclaimed oral history of the Troubles A Long Long War, Bullets, Bombs and Cups of Tea contains more first-person accounts of soldiers who lived with the strain of being "a walking target all the time".

It delves deeper into the Troubles, telling of the tragedy and hardship soldiers faced and the trauma that continues to haunt many of them but also of the camaraderie that sustained them. They recall the violence, the danger, the insults they faced and the shock of seeing their comrades die in front of their very eyes.

Bullets, Bombs and Cups of Tea contains plenty of fresh material to allow readers to reconsider the role of British soldiers in the Troubles, a conflict that claimed the lives of over 1,300 of them. The book also tells, for the first time, the stories of those families who lost loved ones - the "unseen victims" of the Troubles whose pain continues to this day.

Praise for Wharton's A Long Long War: Voices from the British Army in Northern Ireland 1969-1998:

"In this excellent and wide-ranging selection of first-hand accounts from the British Army in Northern Ireland, Ken Wharton has assembled testimonies from men of all ranks that are invariably informative, sometimes humorous and often deeply moving. A fitting tribute to the British soldier in a campaign that lasted nearly three decades."

- Adrian Gilbert, author of POW: Allied Prisoners in Europe 1939-1945

Notes for Editors:
The author, Ken Wharton, is based in Australia, but is available for interview via telephone or e-mail.

For further information, contact: Simone Drinkwater: Tel: 01635 231091