BBC Radio Four ‘Midweek’ 30.09.2009

Libby Purves Tim Knatchbull and his family have needed every ounce of determination to live. It’s thirty years since he was blown up on the fishing boat off Ireland in the IRA atrocity which killed Earl Mountbatten, his grandfather, his grandmother Lady Brabourne and the young Irish boat boy, Paul Maxwell and most savage of […]


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TODAY fm ‘The Last Word’ 02.09.09

Matt Cooper   A dreadful event in Irish history from thirty years ago, August 1979. There were survivors from the IRA bomb that killed Lord Mountbatten. One of those survivors has written a book thirty years on. Thank you for taking the time to join us. Can I ask if it is difficult for you to […]


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BBC World Service ‘World Update’ 27.08.2009

Timothy Knatchbull   Well it was an absolutely beautiful day; gin clear, no wind, a mild, flat calm sea. You couldn’t want a more beautiful morning to go out on a family boat trip which is what we did.   My grandfather who was then seventy nine and my grandmother who was eighty three – that’s my […]


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Readers Comments

One to definitely pick up for Christmas Based on a tragic tale of one family, in this heart-whelming story I felt a real sorrow for what had happened. It takes you back to what must have been a fascinating, exciting childhood to his day-to-day living. Timothy Knatchbull has really re-captured all the feelings evoked at […]


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Extracts of ‘From a Clear Blue Sky’

‘Twins’               The heart of a human foetus starts to beat three weeks after conception. Mine started beating in the middle of March 1964. A few millimeters away another heart was beating alongside mine. It belonged to my identical twin. Our hearts beat in loose synchronicity over seven hundred million times until he was killed, […]


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Q&A

What was your relationship to Earl Mountbatten of Burma? Lord Mountbatten was my maternal grandfather. His eldest daughter, Patricia, is my mother. After his wife, Edwina Mountbatten, died he devoted himself to his family. He was great fun and shared his grandchildren’s passion for toys and was a great storyteller. I learnt of his connections […]


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Prologue to ‘From a Clear Blue Sky’

            On the morning of Monday 27 August 1979, Paul Maxwell asked me the time. He laughed when I told him it was eleven thirty-nine and forty seconds. We were as carefree as skylarks, out together in my grandfather’s small fishing boat off County Sligo on the west coast of Ireland. My identical twin brother Nicholas […]


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  • 'It is one of the most intensely moving stories I have ever read, and I was gripped from the first page.'

    Barbara Taylor Bradford


    'Testament to a remarkable, benevolent soul...With this public love letter he has found a way to say goodbye’. Sunday Times


    ‘It is one of the most penetrating and humane books to have emerged from the Troubles.’

    Irish Independent


    'This amazingly clear-headed and mature book...Intelligent, honest, tender and so moving that it should come with a warning to read this in private because you're going to be in a tear-stained mess.’ Daily Mail


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