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"A QUESTION OF IDENTITY The extraordinary exploits of a Sussex family from Munich to the Somme St Petersburg and the Hollywood Hills"
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The extraordinary exploits of a Sussex family from Munich to the Somme, St. Petersburg and the Hollywood Hills
Tim Parker

“Who do you think you are? Well, it has taken me some sixty odd years to find out. ‘A Question of Identity’ is the story of what I discovered.” Tim Parker, June 2018.

Just who were the Schwabes of Hastings  and what did they do? In this enchanting biography Tim Parker reveals their past, their extraordinary accomplishments, sacrifices and their true identity.

The book describes a luxury hotel in Hastings, the Albany, socialising with the celebrated authors Conan Doyle and Arthur Ransome, and MI6 Operations in St Petersburg at the time that Rasputin was shot and the revolution was fomenting. Then there were the trials and tribulations of two World Wars when the Schwabe family, eleven in number, suffered grievous loss and heart ache. As soon they were old enough the Schwabe sons joined the army serving in the First World War in the Fusiliers and the Royal Sussex Regiments. The next generation served with the Navy and the Royal Airforce in the Second World War.  

It is a riveting tale and there is glamour too, with theatre, the rise of the Elstree film studios, Ingrid Bergman, Cecil Parker and Hollywood as well as engagement with occupational careers in the Merchant Navy, Textiles, Chemicals and a concert pianist too.
Like most real family sagas the reader will share elation but also pathos, the horrors of war, the uplifting support of family love and the successes which were proudly earned. August wanted to become an Englishman, and with the help of his family that’s what he became.

But where did the Schwabes go? An unusual name not found in the telephone directories of a later age. That is the mystery behind this intriguing true story.

On reading the story, Julian Parker, Master Mariner and grandson of Charles August Schwabe, said: “My father, like most men of his generation, was a private man, but I was astonished to learn that in those war years he never talked about he had been in Russia and, miraculously, had escaped from the notorious Peter & Paul Fortress and near certain execution by the Bolsheviks by swimming the mighty river Neva.”

Paperback 234 x 156mm 94 pages
43 illustrations in colour and B&W
Country Books
ISBN 978-1-920489-48-2

Price £14.50

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