A long-lost children’s book about ‘The Bravest Little Dog In The War’ has just been published for the first time, seventy five years after it was written.


Now It Can Be Told was written by Arthur Stiby on his return home after his release as a Japanese PoW. It is a light-hearted story written for his eight year old son, Robert, about the adventures of a little dachshund called Vicky who is involved in a secret wartime mission never revealed before.


Arthur Stiby was a Major in the RA when he was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942. He survived incarceration, starvation and humiliation, as well as the horrors of the Burma Railway. He was a talented writer who wrote plays and sketches to be performed as entertainment for fellow PoWs.


Now It Can Be Told was written when he was back home recovering from his wartime ordeal. He sent it to his son Robert who was at boarding school, in easy-to-read weekly instalments. However that was seventy five years ago and over time the original manuscript was forgotten and disappeared.


But amazingly it has just been rediscovered. Robert Stiby takes up the story:

‘My father died long ago, but recently I have had time to sort out a lot of family stuff and there in a dusty old box, I found this tattered, dog-eared copy of the original, but incomplete, manuscript.

‘I was overjoyed. Although I am no longer eight - I am now in my eighties - reading it again was such fun that I decided to publish it. I persuaded my very talented nephew

Jamie Stiby-Harris to do the illustrations and between us we completed the missing pages.

‘It bought back so many memories. I was only eight years old when my father came home and we met, not as father and son, but as strangers to each other. Writing ‘Now It can Be Told’ was his way of bringing us together. ‘



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Now it can be told

chris on 2nd Feb 2021

Brilliant, superb read and wonderful illustrations. Please can we have the next one very soon? x

"Now it can be told"

Philip Hayes on 27th Jan 2021

Fascinating book - a great read, even for an adult (or big kid!)


John McCulloch on 27th Jan 2021

A lovely little book and one which my grandchildren will very much enjoy. Most interestingly I was an exact contemporary of Robert Stiby at school. I haven't seen him since, and we left school 65 years ago. I have now got back in touch with him, having discovered, courtesy of the internet, where he lives.

Now it can be told

Jackie Sheppard on 22nd Jan 2021

Lovely little book, I’ve bought this as a present for my great-nephew who loves animals & reading.


MICHAEL SAYER on 22nd Jan 2021

Having read my copy of Now It Can Be Told, I quickly ordered copies for my grandsons and the children next door. What a story and what a provenance! A delightful tale written by an extraordinary man, a hero and a very caring father. And how very fortunate that the original survived (except for Chapter 8 of course). I am of an age (78) to whom la plume de ma tante means a lot but I know the book will appeal to all generations. Beautifully produced and very well illustrated, I am sure it will be a best seller and a great contributor to the Salisbury Hospice Charity for many years. Well done!


Patricia Woodley on 22nd Jan 2021

As a dachshund fanatic this book is perfect, beautifully written and illustrated

Now it can be Told

Jennifer Flenley on 15th Jan 2021

This is a delightful and enjoyable book.

Bark better than the Bite

Ian on 14th Jan 2021

The bark being this wonderful light hearted and refreshing story which is a joy to read. The marvellous illustrations enhance this excellent tale. The context of the story and publication add greatly to the enjoyment of this book which appeals to all ages.