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Authors: Hilary Green

Passions of War

BOOK: Passions of War

Table of Contents


Recent Titles by Hilary Green

Title Page


About the Book


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Recent Titles by Hilary Green

The Leonora Saga









* available from Severn House


Hilary Green

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

First world edition published 2011

in Great Britain and in the USA by


9–15 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, England, SM1 1DF.

Trade paperback edition first published

in Great Britain and the USA 2012 by


Copyright © 2011 by Hilary Green.

All rights reserved.

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

Every effort has been made to trace the copyright owner of the poem beginning ‘I wish my mother could see me now' on p.171. Anyone claiming copyright should contact the publisher directly.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Green, Hilary, 1937-

Passions of war. – (The Leonora trilogy)

1. World War, 1914-1918–Medical care–Fiction. 2. First

Aid Nursing Yeomanry–Fiction. 3. Balkan Peninsula–

History–War of 1912-1913–Fiction. 4. Soldiers–

Serbia–Fiction. 5. Love stories.

I. Title II. Series


ISBN-13: 978-1-78010-168-2 (epub)

ISBN-13: 978-0-7278-8104-5 (cased)

ISBN-13: 978-1-84751-402-8 (trade paper)

Except where actual historical events and characters are being

described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this

publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons

is purely coincidental.

This ebook produced by

Palimpsest Book Production Limited,

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

About the Book

These books are not romantic fantasies but are based on solid historical fact. They were inspired by the lives of two remarkable women, Mabel St Clair Stobart and Flora Sands. Stobart, who features as a character in this book, was the founder of the Women's Sick and Wounded Convoy in 1912, led a group of nurses to care for Bulgarian soldiers during the First Balkan War and returned to help the Serbs during World War I. She gave an account of her experiences in her books
Miracles and Adventures
The Flaming Sword in Serbia and Elsewhere

Flora Sands was the daughter of a clergyman and an early member of the FANY – the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. In 1915 she volunteered to go to Serbia with Stobart, was separated from her unit and joined up with a company of Serbian soldiers, with whom she endured the terrible hardships of the retreat through the mountains of Albania. She later returned with them to Salonika and took part in the final advance which ended the war. She was the first woman ever to be accepted as a fighting soldier and ended the war with the rank of sergeant. Though she does not appear as a character in these books, much of the action is derived from her experiences, which are recorded in her own memoir
An English Woman Sergeant in the Serbian Army
and by Alan Burgess in
The Lovely Sergeant


I should like to thank my husband David for his help and patience, particularly in matters to do with the computer, and for proofreading.

The poem beginning ‘I wish my mother could see me now' was written by an anonymous FANY and is quoted by Pat Beauchamp Washington in her book
Fanny Goes to War





June, 1914

‘I'm going back to Belgrade.'

Leonora looked up from her book and regarded her fiancé with a frown. ‘Why, Tom?'

‘I'm going to try to talk some sense into that mutton-headed brother of yours.'

‘In that case, I wish you luck,' Leo responded dryly. ‘But why now, all of a sudden?'

Tom sat down opposite her. ‘I don't like what I'm hearing from various sources out there. You remember I told you last summer, when we were there, that Ralph was getting mixed up with some dangerous people? I get the impression that something is brewing and I think we should try to get him away before it blows up in his face.'

‘What do you mean by “various sources”?'

‘Max, for one. As a newspaper man he has contacts all over Serbia and beyond and there isn't much he doesn't get to hear about. But some of the fellows I got friendly with last year, while we were staying in Belgrade and who I still correspond with, are telling me that they are worried, too.'

‘What do they think is going to happen?'

‘No one seems to know for sure. But you remember Dragutin Dimitrijevic, Apis, as they call him?'

‘Only too well! He's a nasty piece of work. Isn't he the head of that group that call themselves the Black Hand?'

‘That's right. They are dedicated to the creation of a Greater Serbia, to include Bosnia Hercegovina. And from what I hear they are plotting some act of provocation that might provoke a war.'

Leo sighed. ‘Haven't they had enough fighting? I should have thought that two wars in the last two years would have been enough to sicken them of it. When I think of all those brave men, Bulgarians and Serbs, who suffered so terribly side by side and then were ordered to turn against each other, I could weep. And all those people involved in the siege of Adrianople, on both sides, who went through hell so that the Bulgarians could occupy it. And then look what happened. A few months later, at the Treaty of Bucharest, it is handed back to the Turks. It's so futile! And now they want to start all over again.'

‘You have to remember Serbian society is dominated by the military. As far as they are concerned, they had two very good wars. First they got rid of the Turks, then they beat the Bulgarians in a war that lasted less than a month to hang on to Macedonia. Now they are determined to get Bosnia back.'

‘But I can't believe Ralph would let himself get mixed up in something illegal,' Leo objected. ‘He may be a bit too easily dazzled by military heroics, but he's not an idiot.'

‘No, of course not. But there is such a thing as guilt by association,' Tom said. ‘At the very least, it will do his army career no good.'

‘That's true,' Leo agreed. ‘But I don't give much for your chances of changing his mind, and anyway, he can't leave even if he wants to. He's been posted as a military attaché and he has to stick to his post. Regular soldiers can't just come and go as they please.'

‘He must be due for some leave, surely,' Tom said. ‘He hasn't been home for over a year. Failing that, at least I may be able to persuade him to distance himself from that crowd.'

Leo looked at him and saw the determined set of his features, so different from the easy-going, almost vapid expression she remembered from two years ago. ‘When will you leave?' she asked.

‘Tomorrow morning. If I get the first ferry I can catch the Orient Express from Paris that evening.' Leo's lips twitched and he raised his eyebrows. ‘What?'

‘I was just thinking, eighteen months ago I bet you would have thought catching the Orient Express was about on a par with flying to the moon on a broomstick.'

He laughed. ‘That's very true. When Ralph sent me off on that wild goose chase to look for you after you ran off to nurse the Bulgarians I was terrified. But I have you to thank for broadening my horizons – among other things.' He reached out and touched her hand. ‘Will you come with me?'

She shook her head. ‘No, I can't, Tom. You know that. I should almost inevitably bump into Sasha and that would just be too painful for both of us. You do understand, don't you?'

‘Of course,' he answered. He stood up. ‘Well, if I'm going to catch that ferry I had better go home and tell Peters to pack a bag for me. You will be all right until I get back?'

‘Of course I shall. But you take care, Tom. Those men are dangerous.'

‘Don't worry. I'll see you in a week or two.'

He bent and kissed her cheek and she watched him go out of the door with a twist of anguish at her heart. For a year he had been her rock and her haven, something to cling to in a world that had fallen apart around her. Two years ago, when Ralph was determined that she should marry his closest school friend, she had despised him. He had seemed so ineffectual, with his vague ambition to be a painter and his unquestioning devotion to her brother, but now his gentle companionship was more precious to her than anything. But her pain was not simply due to his prospective absence. She had learned to live with solitude. It was the thought that he would be in Belgrade, that he would breathe the same air and tread the same streets as Aleksander Malkovic, a joy that was for ever forbidden to her.

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