It was a jewelled armlet, a family coat of arms. It had been presented to the warrior de Marneys at Agincourt in 1415 by a grateful king and carried into battle by the family sons ever since.
All the de Marneys were fighting furies who either conquered or died gloriously. Then came the Second World War, and young Desmond de Marney, the last of the line. He was no hero – he wanted to be a farmer instead of a soldier. How would he learn overnight to be a leader of men, to wear with honour the “hero’s badge”?