Tuesday 7 March 2017

ACRBA Tour Chocolate Soldier by Hazel Barker

6 - 10 March 2017

is Introducing 
(By the Rhiza Press, 1 October 2016)

By Hazel Barker

About the Book:
London. 1940.
When World War II breaks out and men over eighteen are conscripted, Clarence Dover, a conscientious objector, refuses to go rather than compromise his principles.  Instead he joins the Friend's Ambulance Unit.  From the London Blitz to the far reaches of Asia the war tests Clarence in the crucible of suffering.  In the end, will he be able to hold his head up as proudly as the rest and say, to save lives I risked my own?
One man will stand as God's soldier, not the war's soldier.

About the Author:
Hazel Barker lives in Brisbane with her husband Colin. She taught in Perth, Canberra and Brisbane for over a quarter of a century and now devotes her time to reading, writing and bushwalking. From her early years, her passion for books drew her to authors like Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. Her love for historical novels sprang from Scott, and the love of literary novels, from Dickens. Many of her short stories and book reviews have been published in magazines and anthologies.
Hazel’s debut novel Chocolate Soldier, and Book One of her memoirs Heaven Tempers the Wind, will be released in 2016. Both books are set during World War Two – the former in England and the Far East; the latter in Burma.
For more information, visit her blog on:


  1. Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie by Hazel Barker
    Review by Kathy Stewart
    This extraordinary story of Clarence Dover, a conscientious objector who enrolled with the Friends Ambulance Unit during World War II, kept me interested from beginning to end. I wasn’t sure at first whether I would like Clarence or agree with his stance, but Hazel Barker has done a good job of explaining his point of view and showing that he was indeed both courageous and principled in his efforts during the war. Taking us from the horror of Blighty during the Blitz via exotic India to mysterious China, this is an interesting and enlightening tale. It is also a love story and a story of the triumph of good over evil. I really enjoyed it and the message it conveys.

  2. Review of Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie by Hazel Barker
    Review by Abigail Cobley in Goodreads.
    This book is a true testament to his courage and convictions and I highly recommend it!Too little is known about conscientious objectors' roles in the Second World War and Hazel Barker does a terrific job of bringing the story of Clarence Dover to our eyes. To stand in front of a judge at the tender age of 20 in the midst of war and tell him that you will not fight is such a courageous decision. Clarence did so, and by joining the Friends' Ambulance Unit, he went on to risk his life stretcher-bearing in the London Blitz. After this, he travelled to India and China where he helped transport medical supplies. This book is a true testament to his courage and convictions and I highly recommend it!

  3. Review of Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie by Hazel Barker
    Review by Kathleen in Goodreads.

    I enjoyed reading this interesting well written story about the life and travels of Clarence Dover, a Conchie. With action and drama this was a true page turner!

    Hazel Barker wrote this biography of her Uncle Clarence based on conversations she had with him, his war diaries, research on the Friends Ambulance Unit in India and China during World War II and letters and documents relating to him.

    Clarence and his mother are my favourites, although I liked the whole Dover family and Clarence's friends and work buddies.

    I strongly suggest that you read the Authors' Note, Acknowledgements and Prologue first.
    I missed the Prologue (it was at the end of my advanced copy).

    I recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a great story set during World War II.

  4. Congratulations on publishing such an interesting book, Hazel. I'll have to look it up and buy it.


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