The Inward Turning


SKU e-book Category

178 in stock


By W. D. Winkfield

ISBN: 978-1-84747-219-9
Published: 2007
Pages: 174
Key Themes: schizophrenia, international story, travel, personal strength, history



This is the story of someone who turns away from his environment and in on himself, and against the outside world. It is a true story and set in India, Africa and for a while in England. It is a story of illness.

About the Author

W. D. Winkfield is an active member of the National Schizophrenia Fellowship.

Book Extract

He was born on the 12th of April 1933 on the island of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. His first memories however were not of Guernsey but of India. His father left the regular English Army for the Indian Army and at the age of two he went with his mother and father to India.

His very first memories were of pine trees and a very high range of mountains covered in snow behind the house; the howl of jackals at night and the paraffin lamps (there was no electricity). He must have been three and half to four years old at the time.

He was keen at playing soldiers at a very early age and used to stick two sticks in the ground with a stick on top as a gun. He had a Ghurkha ayah: his father was in the Ghurkhas, and soon he could speak Ghurkali as fluently as he could speak English. He used to go down to the flat hard army football ground below the house they lived in and play football with the other Ghurkha soldiers’ sons. He was normally the only white boy amongst them. Other army officers wouldn’t let their sons go and play football with the ordinary Ghurkha soldiers’ sons.

His pet hate was another army officer’s son called Harold. ‘Horrible Harold’ he eventually called him. Harold was a bit older than himself and a bit of a bully. He had the habit of taking the wings off grasshoppers and to let them swim in a pond. Harold also took the opportunity of bullying him whenever he could. His father, for his fourth birthday, bought him a pair of boxing gloves as he thought it was time he learnt to defend himself. He learnt fairly quickly but was no match for Harold. He hated going up on his pet donkey to visit Harold, which his mother forced him to do.

The days passed very quickly indeed, and he went with just his father in the old Brown Chevrolet car they had to Lahore about ninety miles away. Dharmsala, where they were stationed, was in the foothills of the Himalayas and Lahore was a big town in the plains, in fact a very big town by Indian standards. One of the reasons for going to Lahore was so that he could go to the dentist. This was his first visit ever to a dentist. He was not a very good car traveller and was sick several times on the trip, and ended up by disgracing himself by being sick on the Lahore hotel steps! His father, after the visit to the dentist, bought for him in Lahore an air gun, which he carried all the way home very proudly.

The house they lived in on the side of a hill was very large and had numerous native servants. There was an Australian terrier called Jilly and a pet mongoose called Tiki. Jilly, on a trip down to the plains got lost: they had picnicked on the side of the road and in getting into the Chevrolet had left Jilly behind and only after travelling five to six miles did they realise this. They quickly turned the car around, and on coming close to the picnic spot they saw Jilly being dragged along by a native, on the end of a thick rope. Retrieving Jilly, they thankfully turned around and went on their way!

Occasionally his father was called away to the North-West frontier with Afghanistan for active service. Once, they went down to the plains, to Jullundur: about a hundred miles away. He could remember little of Jullundur except that it was very flat and that they lived in a long row of houses. It was also hot, and he remembered playing with a crowd of other children on an old abandoned motor car.

He was about four or five years old when his brother was born, also in Dharmsala. He could remember little of this except that the christening was held in the Dharmsala church, which he remembered.

Come 1939 the war with Germany started and come 1941 Japan became involved. It was before the war with Japan that his mother bought for him, in the few shops that Dharmsala had, a tin battle-ship that was made in Japan. His father on coming home was angry to see what she had bought for him, it in his eyes being cheap, and made by someone he soon may be potentially fighting.


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