Geoffrey Greenhough was born in Birmingham, England and attended school in Wolverhampton. He then studied at the universities of Birmingham, Cambridge and London. After a short spell in commercial banking he took up secondary school teaching for some twenty-five years in Nottingham and London schools where his principle subject was History.
Following retirement he set about fulfilling a long-standing ambition to write a novel about his family’s experiences in the First World War. After a number of research trips to the battlefields of the Western Front in France and Belgium, together with documentary research, the story of Two Trees began to emerge in many versions before the final manuscript was completed. The novel was published in 2013.
One of the objectives of the whole project was to give some lectures and presentations on the material and the subject matter to interested parties and this is his current area of focus. Geoffrey is also working on adapting Two Trees into a drama production.
Having worked with young people for the majority of his career he has been immersed in many areas of life including the arts, sports, music and politics. Geoffrey still has a real fascination and interest in historical and political issues. He was extremely fortunate to be able to work and enjoy environments where they took life seriously, but not too seriously!
Geoffrey Greenhough lives with his wife Chris in Hertfordshire, England.
Two Trees (Historical Fiction)
‘We think that the Great War is over in this house. Is it still going on in yours?’
Set in the Black Country region of England and on the Western Front in France in the closing stages of the First World War, Two Trees presents a fresh perspective on the trauma of war and the nature of friendship and love within a tight circle of immediate family and friends.
Based on real people, places and events, the novel contains affection, laughter, confusion and anger as well as personal challenges for all the characters involved in the story.
On one level Two Trees has a child as its central character: the impact of the war is seen through the eyes of a very young girl and her brother. On another level the focus is on family members trying to come to terms with the impact of war on their own lives. Another strand explores the reaction of a young woman who tries to deal with the devastating effect of the war on the man she loves.
The central theme of the novel examines the struggle of an English soldier to come to terms with his experiences in France and then a German prisoner of war camp in 1918. The Christian upbringing of his family is placed in stark contrast to the fact that a German soldier of the Jewish faith rescued him in no man’s land.
Somewhere intertwined in the life of this one English family is the emerging friendship between two former enemies in circumstances that few can understand at home. Do they welcome the German rescuer as a hero, or do they still regard him as the enemy when the war is over?
Thoughtful and Engaging
This is a moving story which is based on true events and serves as a great reflection on the inhumane mechanics of war and what gets lost in the process. It is almost a ‘Wonder Tale’ (as is the title of a book mentioned in the novel), a story of hope and survival. Christopher Fischer – Historical Novel Society
I am so glad that I have read Two Trees as I found the story so sensitively written showing an incredible insight into the whole situation both before, during and after the First World War. A very heartening story of love, friendship, comradeship and humanity at such an extremely challenging time, showing a very sympathetic portrayal of all the characters involved. J.B.