Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia...the names of these republics, in the former Yugoslavia, became depressingly familiar in the early nineties. But what was it like before the start of the civil war? What was it like growing up there? In The Man in the Nautical Hat we follow the true story of Ivan Vesligaj. Born in 1940, his first memories are of a Nazi air raid over his remote village and of British airmen given sanctuary in his home. Part of a large family, held together by his widowed mother, he is noticed by a local priest who takes him in to educate him. This leads to Ivan training as a monk and priest but then his mother makes an announcement that turns his world upside down. He faces major challenges, new experiences and adventures before coming to a life-changing decision.
Joy Mawby grew up in Camberley, Surrey, became a teacher and later a headteacher. Throughout her career, she encouraged children with their writing and in the performing arts. She wrote and produced numerous plays for her students. On retirement, she moved to Anglesey and had time to give to her own writing. She has had plays performed locally and has had two books published, Footsteps to Freedom and Broken Warrior. Both are true stories of remarkable people she was fortunate enough to meet. Joy has two children, three very creative grandchildren and two dogs who keep her fit. www.joymawby.co.uk John Vesliga's early story is told in this book. He later married and settled in Cheshire where he worked as a technician in the Scientific Services Department of Astra Zenica. There, he was also a leading first aider. He retired to Anglesey where he engages in DIY, gardening and enjoying the wonderful beaches and countryside. He is still an avid reader. John has two children and a small grandson.