On VE Day in 1945, Edward Lyme was one of the many soldiers who thronged London’s Piccadilly Circus to celebrate the end of the long war in Europe. Having been captured during the Defence of Calais in 1940, he had spent the previous five years in another sort of circus – the stalags of Germany and Poland. But Edward Lyme was not passive during his captivity and made several escapes. He scavenged for food and hid in barns – he was even incarcerated in a chimney for several days. One escape led him to finding himself nearly enrolled by a gang of Eastern European desperados, led by a virago of a woman who kept a murder roster pinned to her door. Throughout all of this he never lost his sense of the absurd. Laced with the humour and sense of comradeship that sustained so many POWs, Soldier in the Circus is the story of an ordinary soldier’s survival.
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