THE Soldier Who Came Back is the story of an unlikely friendship that was to lead to one of the most daring wartime escape stories ever told. Antony Coulthard was privately educated while Fred Foster left school with no qualifications. This seemingly-mismatched pair hatched a plan – and what happened to them next is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Former Serviceman of 17 years David Cleckner reviews the book for Army&You…


I HAVE always had an interest in a good read regarding military books and I wasn’t disappointed with this one, writes David. It took me a while to get into it, but once I hit the section where the actual escape took place I just couldn’t put it down.

The sheer courage of not only escaping but travelling into the heart of the capital of Germany, mixing with the enemy, was incredible.

I won’t go into too much detail so as not to give any spoilers away, but they find themselves travelling back to their prison camp.

The journey shows the horrors of the bombing campaign by the allies to where it all started, only for their paths to separate with one of them returning home.

The thing that comes across most is the loyalty and friendship shown to each other by Antony and Fred. I really enjoyed it and I’d highly recommend this truly amazing story.


The Soldier Who Came Back, published by Mirror Books, was written by Fred’s son Steve, an ex-Royal Navy Commander, after he discovered the details in a suitcase when his dad died. It’s now available in hardback, priced £16.99, and paperback (£8.49).

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