A Question of Identity

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The Extraordinary Story of the Schwabes of Hastings

“Who do you think you are? Well, it has taken me some sixty odd years to find out. ‘A Question of Identity’ is the story of what I discovered.” Tim Parker, June 2018.

Just who were the Schwabes of Hastings, and what did they do? Tim Parker's enchanting biography unveils the remarkable history of this family, revealing their extraordinary achievements, sacrifices, and their true identity.

The narrative takes you through the opulent setting of the Albany, a luxury hotel in Hastings, where the Schwabes mingled with celebrated authors like Conan Doyle and Arthur Ransome. Explore the intrigue of MI6 Operations in St Petersburg during Rasputin's assassination and the brewing revolution. Then there were the trials and tribulations of two World Wars when the Schwabe family, eleven in number, suffered grievous loss and heart ache. As soon they were old enough the Schwabe sons joined the army serving in the First World War in the Fusiliers and the Royal Sussex Regiments. The next generation served with the Navy and the Royal Airforce in the Second World War.

This riveting tale unfolds with elements of glamour too, weaving in the realms of theatre, the rise of Elstree film studios, encounters with icons like Ingrid Bergman and Cecil Parker, and Hollywood's allure, as well as engagement with occupational careers in the Merchant Navy, Textiles, Chemicals and a concert pianist too.

A Captivating Family Chronicle

Like most real family sagas, the reader will share elation but also pathos: the horrors of war, the uplifting support of family love and the successes that were proudly earned. August Schwabe wanted to become an Englishman, and with the help of his family that’s what he became.

But where did the Schwabes go? An unusual name not found in the telephone directories of a later age. That is the mystery behind this intriguing true story.

On reading the story, Julian Parker, Master Mariner and grandson of Charles August Schwabe, said: “My father, like most men of his generation, was a private man, but I was astonished to learn that in those war years he never talked about he had been in Russia and, miraculously, had escaped from the notorious Peter & Paul Fortress and near certain execution by the Bolsheviks by swimming the mighty river Neva.”

Tim Parker's "A Question of Identity" is not just a biography; it's the captivating exploration of self-discovery intertwined with the story of a family's resilience, triumphs, and bonds.

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Tim Parker








234 x 156mm


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