By Scott, Tom
Charles Upham was the most highly decorated soldier in the Commonwealth forces of WWII, and could arguably be called the bravest soldier of the war. An unassuming stock worker/ valuer at the beginning of the war, he stormed through Crete and the Western Desert amazing and confoun...ding his comrades with his exploits. He won two Victoria Crosses (the only combat soldier ever to do so) and in the opinion of his superiors deserved many more. Captured, he became an escape artist and ended his war in the famous Colditz POW camp. Shy and reluctant to take credit for his actions, he deflected all praise onto his soldiers and was described as distraught that he had been honoured. He then farmed in North Canterbury until his death in 1994, avoiding the limelight wherever possible. There has been one previous biography, Mark of the Lion published in 1962, which was a major bestseller and sells to this day.Read more
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Tom Scott is widely regarded as one of the finest writers New Zealand has ever produced. He has authored best-selling books and been on the frontline on New Zealand journalism for decades. He has won numerous awards, including the Qantas Award for New Zealand Cartoonist of the Year (seven times), Columnist of the Year, and Political Columnist of the Year (three times). He also won scriptwriting awards for Fallout and for View from the Top. He co-wrote the screenplay for the animated feature Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale with the late Murray Ball. In 2001 he wrote the semi-autobiographical stage play, about his father, The Daylight Atheist which has since been performed by numerous theatres in New Zealand and Australia. In the 2006 New Year Honours, Scott was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand for services as a writer, journalist and illustrator. His television drama series and documentary on Ed Hillary have sold to a number of countries.
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