Biography and autobiography


C.M.S. Thornton

“Airship of Dreams” is a true story that can be read by itself, although it is also Book #1 of the VALIANT HEART trilogy. It describes William Palstra’s extraordinary life, which ended in 1930 when His Majesty’s airship R101 exploded in flames, changing the world forever.

An Air Force pilot and decorated hero, Palstra returns to Australia in 1919, at the end of the First World War. Then follow his marriage and family, his role in the early years of Melbourne University, and his rise through the ranks of the newly-formed Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF).

The decade of the 1920s was the Golden Age of Airships and zeppelins. The stuff of dreams, these enormous, cigar-shaped aircraft glided slowly and majestically across the skies, like fantastic creatures from legend.
The British Empire’s R101 was the world’s biggest airship at that time.
She was fitted out so luxuriously that she has been called The Titanic of the Skies. And like the Titanic, her maiden voyage was doomed.
“Airship of Dreams” tells of this fatal flight, and the repercussions of the tragedy that rippled through time and continues to this day.

Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble

Available all all good bookstores

Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-9875754-4-9
Released 1 APRIL 2024

Paperback: ISBN 978-0-6452129-6-9
Released 1 OCTOBER 2024

VALIANT HEART 1 Page count: 446


C.M.S. Thornton

“The Call to Arms” is the life story of First World War hero William Palstra between 1914 and 1917. In 1914 he leaves his job as an office clerk in London, sails to Australia in a steam-ship, and takes a job as a clerk in Melbourne.
While he is still on the high seas the Great War breaks out, and his younger brother enlists in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.). Charles is destined to sail to the shores of Gallipoli, where the Anzac legend will be born.

Young Will Palstra also enlists. With the 39th Infantry Battalion, he voyages to the war on the other side of the world.
The young soldiers complete their training on Salisbury Plain, in the shadow of Stonehenge, before crossing the English Channel to begin active service in the muddy, bloody trenches of the infamous Western Front.

“The Call to Arms” is Book #2 of the VALIANT HEART trilogy. It follows Palstra’s well-documented life story as he comes of age, maturing from a mild-mannered office clerk to a commissioned officer in the Australian Army.

Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble

Available all all good bookstores

Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-6452129-3-8
Released 1 OCTOBER 2024

Paperback ISBN 978-0-6452129-8-3
Released 1 APRIL 2025

VALIANT HEART 2 Page count: 258


C.M.S. Thornton

“Blood and Fire” is the life story of First World War hero William Palstra between the years 1917 and 1919.

In his letters and diaries he tells of fighting in the trenches on the Western Front with the 39th Battalion AIF, the famous and earth-shattering Battle of Messines, being awarded a Military Cross by the King at Buckingham Palace, joining the Australian Flying Corps and learning to fly biplanes, braving artillery fire and enemy planes while flying over enemy lines, Armistice Day 1918 and the celebrations in Paris, and at last the happy and victorious homecoming.

“Blood and Fire” is Book #3 of the VALIANT HEART trilogy following Palstra’s story as he walks through the valley of death and emerges as a hero.

Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble

Available all all good bookstores

Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-6452129-9-0
Released 1 APRIL 2025

Paperback ISBN 978-1-925110-97-5
Released 1 OCTOBER 2025

VALIANT HEART 3 Page count: 252


Treading a Delicate Tightrope

Mike Burton

Africa in the 1980s.In that beautiful, strife-torn country, it was a turbulent time of radical social change.One white man found himself in the middle of it, newly employed as the principal of All Saints College in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.Little did Mike Burton know that a difficult journey was about to begin.Soon, he realised that education and politics were converging towards a crisis point. He found himself walking the tightrope between the expectations of the people who provided the money for education, and those of the students and the community.As “Comrade Mike” he elected that the interests of the students and the community take precedence. He chose education AND liberation. But at what cost?Mike Burton’s “Tightrope” is a gripping, personal account that transports the reader back to the South African liberation struggle of the 1980s, a period of tremendous change in a new-born democracy.Available at Amazon comDymocksBooktopiaSandbar BooksClarke’s Bookshop (Cape Town) and wherever good books are sold.

Paperback ISBN 9781920033835

Ebook ISBN 9781920033842


Prairie historical autobiography

P.V. Eyre-Walker

The true story of the first European child born on the prairie in North-West Manitoba, Canada.
A heartwarming, historical autobiography by P.V. Eyre-Walker.

Against the backdrop of the remote prairies, a spectacularly beautiful landscape where the snowbound winters were long and harsh, the little girl and her family struggled against want, sickness and hardship.

Glimpse a unique fragment of the past in the pages of this book. You won’t believe the hardships this pioneering family endured.

Pioneering life on the Canadian prairies in the late 19th century was harsh and relentless – far different from anything the settlers had ever known. This authentic autobiography will warm your heart. Available world-wide as an eBook.

Ebook ASIN: B00CB5PG2Y

Shop for Prairie as an ebook worldwide: (USA) (UK) (Canada)

A quote from PRAIRIE:

“No. 6 engine was the first to pass through, and when the Winnipeg ‘express’ began to run, it arrived in Millwood at about nine o’clock on Saturday nights, so the children never saw it. Consequently if a ‘special’ passed – that is a long train of ’empties’ going up for, or down with wheat – the whole school was turned out to watch it.
One hot August afternoon a ‘special’ pulled up in Millwood and a white-faced engineer got down. The Doctor happened to be in the village and as the long train drew out, the gang foreman came to him.
“The engineer has just reported he has killed two people on the trestle bridge. They were in the middle of the bridge when he came around the curve, and he couldn’t possibly stop in time. I have to go and investigate. Will you come too?”
So the gang foreman and the Doctor piled onto the hand-car and went back to the bridge.. . “