A VETERAN who served in different roles for the armed forces for 40 years has released his third book.

Phil Tomkins, of Manchester Road, Tyldesley, has been praised after his historical 18th century war novel Broken Sword was launched.

The book tells the story of soldiers during the Seven Years’ War which took place between Britain and France in Canada from 1755.

Great great grandfather-of-five Phil, 82, said: “I have had some good reviews so far from people who have said my work is very well-researched.

"I really enjoy the research that goes into writing.

“I have always been interested in writing and when I was serving in active duty as a paratrooper in the Middle East I kept a diary.

"The experiences I had in that time give me inspiration for my second book Once a Soldier.”

Phil took his passion for writing further in his late 50s when he completed a course at Leigh College.

He followed that up with a three-year Creative Writing degree at the University of Bolton which he graduated in at the age of 63.

Since then, Phil, who is originally from Ireland, wrote his first book called Twice a Hero about his uncle George Adamson, who fought as a brigade gunner in the Irish War of Independence.

George also won the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions in Jerusalem in the First World War.

He has been a member of the Tyldesley Creative Writers in the last three years and recently won the travel article category at the National Association of Writers’ Groups (NAWG) awards for his entry, Colours of Bulgaria.

Phil added: “I love being part of the group and the social life that goes with it.

“There is a lot of talented people there and we have won quite a few awards.”

The group meet at Tyldesley Library on Stanley Street on Tuesdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm which is £2 per person including refreshments.

Broken Sword was also launched as part of the borough's Festival of Ageing, a National Lottery-funded scheme in inspire older people to get involved in community activities such as creative writing. 

Phil is now in the process of writing his fourth book, The Gun, about the history of a weapon he came across during his time in the armed services.

To order a copy of Broken Sword click here.