Author William Clegg is celebrating the stocking of his debut book Crime, Comedy & Combat in Stewart Miller stores in Holywood and Newtownards.
The book, released in November 2020, is the former RUC officer’s story of 21 years on the frontline as a serving Police officer.
William said: “I’m delighted that Stewart Miller’s have decided to support the book by stocking it in their Holywood and Newtownards stores. It’s a great boost of confidence and a fantastic way of getting the story out to more people.”
Crime, Comedy & Combat traces William’s life from childhood, through to his experiences in the police force during some of Northern Ireland’s darkest days.
“I joined the RUC in Enniskillen,” William said, adding: “and, for the next 21 years, I and my colleagues lived – and worked – through the horrors of The Troubles.
“I wrote the book because, even though Northern Ireland is now, thankfully, living in relative peace, I wanted to show people – young people in particular – what life was like for RUC officers at that time.
“I wanted to reflect the horrific experiences that we went through, and how we coped physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Tina Calder of publishers Excalibur Press believes that William’s tales will resonate with people across Northern Ireland.
“Having independent book shops like Stewart Millers supporting work like this book from William Clegg is testament to the great writing and stories we have to tell here in Northern Ireland” said Tina.
“Excalibur Press were delighted to publish this great anthology of stories from William’s experience. For the last year, we have all been forced to deal with the challenges created by a global pandemic, but we must never forget – regardless of your allegiances – that we lived through some very dark days. William’s story is the human face of those dark days.”
Although he now lives in Indonesia, William’s thoughts are never far from the province and from the colleagues he was proud to serve with in the most challenging times that Northern Ireland has ever known.
“I’m so pleased to see that the people of Northern Ireland – which is a beautiful country – are now able to enjoy relative peace, but I don’t think we can ever truly forget the risk and challenges that serving police officers experienced during the times of conflict.
“We’ve now had more than 20 years of peace and I totally appreciate that young people will have little or no memory of what The Troubles were like at their height. It was an extremely bleak period and I am proud of how the RUC – my colleagues throughout Northern Ireland – coped with what they witnessed and lived through. I joined the RUC as a young man and so my life was very much shaped by my experiences. Crime, Comedy and Combat is my attempt to reflect our experiences in their entirety.
“I sincerely hope that this anthology will ring true with anyone, who experienced life in Northern Ireland at that time, whether security services or others.
In Crime, Comedy & Combat William tells his story for people of all ages, how a young person’s life changed during the Troubles, joining the RUC, and the incidents and emotions that coloured his life.