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People who inspire us: The Circus Hostel Manager publishes his first book

If you’ve been following our latest literary project, you know how passionate we are about books of all shapes and sizes, themes and genres. Calling us book worms would be an understatement! This year’s spotlight belongs to our Hostel Manager Jim and his newly published book “From Berwick to Bremen: Following the journey of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers 1944-45”.

Here’s a little background about Andrew, or Jim, as we all like to call him inside The Circus family. If you are lucky to know him, you’ll know he has a unique passion for history. And not just any history. His latest project has seen him track down his grandfather’s movements during World War II – we are talking about a man who served with the 5th Battalion of the King’s Owns Scottish Borderers as they fought their way through northern Europe during the Second World War!

To get some details about the book, how the idea for writing it came to life, as well as what it took to finish this epic project, we sat down with Jim and asked him a few questions about his very own literary project and the personal quest to discover his own family history.

We asked Jim about the usual things you ask someone who spent years researching and writing a book like he just did. We were curious to hear about what inspired him to take on this epic journey into the unknown and relive the experiences of his ancestors. Here’s what he said…

  1. What inspired you to write the book, is there a special reason you set off on this adventure?

If I am brutally honest, I wrote the book for one reason. It was not for fame and certainly not for fortune, but more out of my personal desire to go on holiday without the wife and kids. I love them to bits, of course, and our family holidays are simply super, but there was still the old wanderlust in me calling for an adventure. I have been lucky enough to have travelled quite extensively in my youth, but as I got older circumstances somehow clipped my adventurous wings.

  1. And what drove you to choose your grandfather as the inspiration behind the adventure?

I was always interested in where my Granddad had been in the war. I was totally shocked to find out just how much action he was actually in. While still alive, he gave us some hints and told a few stories about his time in the war, but discovering the amount of times people tried to kill him and his comrades in the 8 months of his active duty abroad was astonishing.

  1. Would you call this book a memoir, a history book, or is it more like a novel?

I would say that the book is definitely not a history book, as they have already been written by people who are far more talented than I am. It is more of a collection of what I found when I went on this journey, with a couple of jokes thrown in just for fun.

You can purchase your copy here, and if you’d like to meet the man behind the words, drop by The Circus Hostel, where you will find Jim running the place. If you cannot recognize him, just follow the laughter, where Jim goes a joke always follows.