Johnson Beharry - Barefoot Soldier - Little, Brown Book Group

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Barefoot Soldier

By Johnson Beharry

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

* The remarkable life story of Johnson Beharry, from Grenadian poverty to being awarded the Victoria Cross and becoming a national hero
*An utterly compelling story that will inspire this and future generations

Born in 1979 in Grenada as one of eight children, living in a two-bedroom hut, surviving on meagre meals of beans and rice and walking barefoot, three miles to school. At 13 Johnson Beharry quit school and worked as a decorator and labourer. In 1999 he scraped together the airfare for England and joined the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. He served six months in Kosovo, three months in Northern Ireland and then went to Iraq. On 1 May 2004, Beharry helped assist a foot patrol caught in a series of ambushes. His vehicle was hit by multiple rocket propelled grenades but he drove through the ambush and extracted his wounded colleagues from the vehicle, all the time exposed to further enemy fire. He was cited on this occasion for 'valour of the highest order'. While back on duty on 11 June 2004, a rocket propelled grenade hit Beharry's vehicle incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew. Despite his very serious head injuries, Beharry took control of his vehicle and drove it out of the ambush area before losing consciousness. He required brain surgery for his head injuries, and he was still recovering when he was awarded the VC in March 2005.

Biographical Notes

Johnson Beharry, VC was born in Grenada in 1979. In 1999 he joined the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. He has served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780751538793
  • Publication date: 21 May 2007
  • Page count: 448
  • Imprint: Sphere
Beharry has a rich inner life and is possessed of an unselfconsciously poetic turn of phrase. Relating a recurrent nightmare in which he's trapped inside a burning Warrior, he writes, "The dream sticks to me like the smell of smoke" — SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
A heartbreaking, uplifting and inspirational read — SUNDAY EXPRESS
Johnson Beharry earned his VC for "repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour" in Iraq, but the full story of his journey there is still more inspiring — DAILY MAIL
Gets my vote as book of the year. The word 'hero — is often bandied about by the media, but where Beharry is concerned, it’s a fitting description’
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