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IV - Tales of The Looe Die-Hards I - The Short Stories

This volume, the fourth in a series of anthologies, relates some of Q’s tales about the Looe Die-Hards.

During Napoleonic times there was great concern that the French could invade England through Cornwall much of which had many miles of undefended coasts and rivers as well as readily accessible harbours and numerous secluded coves and beaches suitable for landing.

Due to this concern many areas assembled volunteer artillery companies to guard and protect their immediate environment. One of these was the East and West Looe Volunteer Artillery which existed between 1803 and 1809. In all that time, the company which numbered up to 70 members, did not lose a single member and became known as the Looe Die-Hards.

One of the officers was Q’s grandfather, the famous naturalist and Polperro doctor, Dr. Jonathan Couch who is immortalised by Q in his lightly disguised story as Doctor Unonius.

Fascinatingly, during the First World War, Q himself, despite having no military experience established and was second in command of the 10th Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry comprised entirely of Cornish volunteers.

Q’s stories of the Looe Die-Hards are based on oral and family histories he was told over many years. He wrote about them, using lightly disguised names and locations in a number of short stories three of which are included here:- The Looe Die-Hards, Hi-Spy-Hi! and Doctor Unonius as well in a novella, The Mayor of Troy, the subject of Volume V in this series.

Each story is annotated to explain Cornish terms, and to identify locations as well as the real, historical, personalities used in Q’s factional stories.

Series I                      Series II                     

I         The Arrest of Captain Bligh

II        The Roll Call of the Reef

III       The Last Siege in England

IV       Tales of The Looe Die-Hards I - The Short Stories

V        Tales of The Looe Die-Hards II - The Mayor of Troy

VI       Tales of Ardevora I - Prisoners of War in France

VII      Tales of Ardevora II - Smugglers and Elections

VIII     Tales of Ardevora III - Ia

IX       Christmas Tales

X        Highwaymen