The Monocled Mutineer : The First World War's Best Kept Secret: The Etaples Mutiny

The Monocled Mutineer : The First World War's Best Kept Secret: The Etaples Mutiny

Book Title: The Monocled Mutineer : The First World War's Best Kept Secret: The Etaples Mutiny

Author: Oliver Sacks

Format: Paperback | 208 pages

Publication Date: 01 Jul 2016

ISBN-13: 9780285643109

The best-selling book behind the BBC Drama 'The Monocled Mutineer', starring Paul McGann as the 'ringleader' of the Etaples Mutiny, Percy Toplis, with a new introduction by John Fairley.
In 1917, British, New Zealand and Australian troops stationed at the Etaples Training Camp in northern France protested against the inhuman conditions. The mutineers commandeered the camp's weapons and marched into Etaples, holding the town for three days, attacking military police and the commander of the training camp, General Thompson.
Several of the mutineers were executed, but Toplis remained at large for three years. The Army immediately covered up the Mutiny; thousands of the participants would die shortly afterwards in the Passchendaele offensive.
The survivors remained silent for over fifty years while all records of the Etaples Board of Enquiry were destroyed (the official files on the Mutiny are closed until 2017).
With original photographs and interviews with survivors of the Mutiny, as well as the friends and family of Percy Toplis, The Monocled Mutineer unveils the events of the Etaples Mutiny and the response of the government. Percy Toplis became one of Britain's most wanted men and was, eventually, killed by a policeman in 1920.
Yet, as The Monocled Mutineer outlines, there are still a host of unanswered questions about Toplis and his role, if any, in the Mutiny.

Percy Toplis was WW1's most guarded secret, the ringleader of the Etaples mutiny. In 1917 British, New Zealand and Australian troops stationed at the etaples Training Camp in northern France protested against the inhuman conditions. The mutineers commandeered the camp's weapons and marched into etaples, holding the town for three days, attacking military police and the commander of the training camp, General Thomson. Several of the mutineers were executed, but Toplis remained at large for three years. The Army immediately covered up the mutiny, thousands of the participants would die shortly afterwards in the Passchendaele offensive, the survivors remained silent for over fifty years while all records of the etaples Board of Enquiry were destroyed. Only when John Fairley and William Allison tracked down survivors of the mutiny, and relatives and friends of Percy Toplis, that this story came to public attention. The Monocled Mutineer became a national sensation when it was made into an acclaimed, and controversial, BBC drama in 1986, starring Paul McGann. The Monocled Mutineer asks: was Percy Toplis an anti-establishment hero, what made the monocled mutineer the most wanted man in Britain?