Published books

Signed copies can be purchased directly from or from the publishers websites by clicking on the images below.

Lion of the Skies is published in South Asia by Harper Collins India.

The Flying Sikh is published in the UK and North America by Pen and Sword Publishing.

(The text of both copies is the same)

The Flying Sikh tells the unique story of the only Sikh airman to fly with the RFC and the RAF during the First World War. It is the remarkable account of one man's struggle to enlist, against discrimination, and then his service as a fighter pilot over the battlefields of Flanders.

This book represents the only detailed study of an Indian national enlisting in Britain's armed forces during the First World War. It is an account of India's role in the war; the rise of Indian nationalism and the challenges of Indians to take up the status of a commissioned officer in His Majesty's Armed Forces. Malik started his new life in Britain as a fourteen-year-old public school boy, who progressed to Balliol College, Oxford, before attempting to join the Royal Flying Corps after graduation with friends from university, but was denied a commission.

Keen to participate in the war, he served with the French Red Cross in 1916 as an ambulance driver and then offered his services to the French air force. Ultimately, one of his Oxford tutors wrote on Malik's behalf to General David Henderson, the former head of the RFC, and secured Malik a cadetship Above all though, it is the story of a man who was a county cricketer who played for Sussex and Oxford University, an outstanding golfer and fighter pilot who fought over Passchendaele in the autumn of 1917. Being a devout Sikh, he wore a specially designed flying helmet that fitted over his turban. Malik claimed two kills until he was shot down, crashing unconscious to the ground behind Allied lines. His Sopwith Camel was riddled with over 400 bullet holes.

Malik was only one of a small number of Indian nationals who served with the RAF during the war. In later life, Malik became the first Indian High Commissioner to Canada, and then served as the Indian Ambassador to France.

Lancashire's Forgotten Heroes is published in the UK by The History Press.

When the Great War began in 1914, it demanded the mobilisation of the entire population and the recruitment of a citizen army. The 8th (Service) Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment was in many ways a unit typical of the British Expeditionary Force. Yet, in recent years, military historians have tended to concentrate on recording the stories of the major Pals units raised by corporations and towns, meaning many of the unknown, but no less important battalions of the New Armies have been largely ignored. Stephen Barker and Christopher Boardman have constructed a very readable and fascinating account of this little-known battalion, having trawled local and national sources, personal letters, newspaper obituaries and photographs. The soldiers every-day lives are described and the actions in which they fought are forensically examined, making a contribution to the current debate about the extent to which the British Army was on a learning curve during 1916-18. The book leads the reader from the initial euphoria of recruitment into Kitchener's Army, through the initiation into trench warfare, to the battles of the Somme, Arras and Passchendaele.