Excerpt From Through Blood and Sweat All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced in any form without permission of the author. From the museum, a group of us travel in several cars to the junction of the main highway and the road to Valguarnera, where fifteen markers have been planted. They have been set out in three groups of five. The dozen or so people present conduct a short ceremony at each cluster. Approaching one of the clusters, I read the name Major John Henry William Pope and claim it for the roll call. When I call out his name, it is impossible not to tear up. Major Billy Pope was the second-in-command of the Royal Canadian Regiment and a best friend of then captain Strome Galloway. Early on in researching and writing the Canadian Battle Series, I interviewed Strome at his Ottawa home. A friendship was kindled that ended only with his death at eighty-eight years on August 11, 2004. Many times, our conversation came around to Billy Pope and the circumstances of his death. Pope was a roguish officer, the kind that was popular with compatriots. As Strome described him in his book Some Died at Ortona, Pope had a “close-cropped head, round as a cannon ball, with china-white teeth under a Zorro moustache.” As the Canadians sailed from Britain to Sicily, he...Read More
Month: March 2016
Through Blood and Sweat: A Remembrance Trek Across Sicily’s World War II Battlegrounds Through Blood and Sweat takes readers on a memorable, thought-provoking march in the footsteps of 1st Canadian Infantry Division in 1943. During Operation Husky 2013, a group of Canadians walked this route to honour the nation’s soldiers who fought in Sicily seventy years earlier and whose sacrifice has been largely forgotten. Under a searing sun, with Mount Etna soaring high in the distance, a small contingent of marchers trekked for 15 to 35 kilometres each day along winding country roads between one village and the next....Read More
About the Author
Mark Zuehlke is an award-winning author generally considered to be Canada’s foremost popular military historian. His Canadian Battle Series is the most exhaustive recounting of the battles and campaigns fought by any nation during World War II to have been written by a single author.
In recognition of his contribution to popularizing Canadian history, Mark was awarded the 2014 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award. In 2007, his For Honour’s Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace won the Canadian Author’s Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History. The Canadian Battle Series Holding Juno captured the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2006. Mark is also an award winning mystery writer, whose popular Elias McCann series has garnered much critical praise in Canada and abroad. Set in storm-swept west Vancouver Island village of Tofino, the series follows the reluctant community coroner Elias McCann. Hands Like Clouds, the debut in this series, won the Crime Writer’s of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for the 2000 Best First Novel and the third instalment, Sweep Lotus, was nominated for the 2004 Arthur Ellis Best Novel. When not writing, this Victoria, British Columbia resident can often be found tinkering around the Fernwood heritage house he shares with partner and fellow writer Frances Backhouse. He enjoys hiking, backpacking, cycling, kayaking, travelling, and cooking.