Cover of The Survivor: Scruffy's War, by Blake Heathcote

Unremarkable: A Good Place to Start


by Blake Heathcote


In ‘Unremarkable: A Good Place to Start’, bestselling author Blake Heathcote provides a completely updated and revised telling of the incredible story of John ‘Scruffy’ Weir: a Spitfire pilot in WWII, POW, key man in the infamous Great Escape, and a spy.


Drawing on skills he was taught by an Ojibway wilderness guide, and later in SOE commando training, Weir endures a fiery plane crash and four grim years in PoW camps. His crucible of survival is capped by a 350-mile trek forced march in sub-zero weather across Germany to the Baltic Sea in the last months of the war.


Blake Heathcote brings to life how Weir was trained – almost from birth – for conditions no-one could ever have anticipated. In this beautiful book, Heathcote paints a moving and affectionate portrait of an extraordinary man – and a true survivor.


From the book:


“If John accepted, he could never talk about any assignment he was given, nor could he speak of, or in any way acknowledge, the existence of the ‘Network’ with anyone but his Uncle Adrian. What’s more, he would be accountable and on call for the rest of his life.


The work would never be particularly easy. There would always be danger and there would be no medals or decorations. The only reward was the assignments themselves. If no-one was aware of him, or what he had done, then he had succeeded. In that regard, the work was the definition of thankless.


There would come a time, as there inevitably did in all intelligence work, when John would be asked to take an assignment that he did not want. But refusal was not an option. Volunteering meant there was no turning back.”


John ‘Scruffy’ Weir: a most ‘unremarkable’ man. A story you will never forget.


Cover of Testaments of Honour by Blake Heathcote, published by Doubleday Canada. Cover of Blake Heathcote's book, A Soldier's View, published by Doubleday Canada.

A Soldier’s View

The Personal Photographs of Canadians at War 1939-1945


by Blake Heathcote


This new book from the Testaments of Honour Project is a stunning companion to the national bestseller Testaments of Honour. It is a collection of war photographs from the albums of veterans, men and women, in the navy, in the air force, in the army; from all theatres of war. These veterans share with us the face of the Second World War as it was seen by those who fought it.



Testaments of Honour

Personal Histories of Canada’s War Veterans


by Blake Heathcote


Testaments of Honour was born by chance. Blake Heathcote had set out to archive his grandfather's wartime scrapbooks and sketches, only to realize what a treasure the documents were. He decided to set out in his car to record the memories of other World War II veterans across Canada before it was too late. Much has been written about how the courage of the wartime generation transformed Canada from a small rural society into one of the world's main armed powers. But if there is a unifying thread in Heathcote's book, it is that war is a horrifying thing that must be avoided at all costs.  In bringing together such voices, most never heard before, Blake Heathcote has made a valuable contribution to the literature of war.  -- Alex Roslin/Amazon