Bartholomew W. Bandy
Quintessential Canadian Hero or Menace
to Peace, Order, and Good Government?
Bart Bandy is the creation of author Donald
Jack, who won the Leacock Medal for each of the
three volumes Three Cheers for Me,
That's Me in the Middle, &
Me Bandy, You Cissie.
"I enjoyed every word... terrifically
-P.G. Wodehouse, on The Bandy Papers
Bandy's life in Beamington Ontario shortly before
leaving for Europe and the First World War, the
"memoirs" follow his adventures through the war
and into the 20's and 30's, with the last books
carrying him into World War Two.
does more than play it for laughs. Men die on
barbed wire and a hand sticks out of the water
in the bottom of a shell hole --It seemed to
be waving at us cheerfully.
Rollo shook hands with it-- This mingling
of humor and horror is like a clown tap-dancing
on a coffin, but Jack is skillful enough to get
away with it." -Time Magazine
When not busy avoiding
death, winning medals, or oscillating through
ranks like a yo-yo, Bandy spends his time driving
his superior officers into apoplectic fits.
"These books represent as powerful
an indictment of the bloody waste of war as has
ever been written by a Canadian." - J. L.
"What the [Bandy] books do is offer is a
uniquely Canadian eye view of the 10-year period
between 1916 and 1925, during which the world
fought a war and this country, like Jack’s hero,
came of age."
-Books in Canada
The Bandy Papers
~~Click on the titles to see a synopsis, and
click cover images for publication data~~
Other Donald Jack books
Three Cheers For Me
Bartholomew Wolfe Bandy abandons medical school for
the Victorian Light Infantry. He survives the trenches
only to be transferred to the Royal Flying Corps after
capturing his own colonel in a daring raid on his own
lines. He meets his future wife, Katherine Lewis, by
crashing in her field, and despite his best efforts
becomes an ace. He also lands an aeroplane on the
colonel. Three Cheers was made into a
5-episode CBC radio play in 1972 or 1973 (starring Don
Harron as Bandy), and recorded on 3 mono LP records by
Radio Canada International (copies are now rare or
unobtainable). First published 1962. Won the Leacock
Medal 1963. Revised and republished as the beginning
of a series in 1973.
That's Me in the Middle
To his own amazement Bandy ends up an acting
Lieutenant-Colonel in the Air Ministry, makes an
ill-considered speech, flies to Ireland by mistake, is
sent back to the front with the 13th Bicycle Battalion
as a lieutenant, salvages a Rolls whose occupants have
no further use for it, is reclaimed by the RAF and
made a major. He and Katherine survive their honeymoon
with only minor injuries. There's also the matter of
the Irish gunrunner and the Bolshevik spy.
It's Me Again
(It's Me Again and Me Among the Ruins)
At his new squadron, Major Bandy engages in pigeon
warfare with his Recording Officer as well as
continuing to harass his superiors over parachutes.
Forced down behind enemy lines, he steals a German
plane from under its pilot's nose and is nearly shot
down by his own side. Bandy, again a colonel, is sent
to Russia to help the White Russians. In keeping with
his past purloining of vehicles, he steals an armoured
train from the Bolsheviks.
*Note - At one
time this volume was published in two separate parts;
the first half sold as It's Me Again, the
second as Me Among the Ruins. The two halves
were also published together as It's Me Again,
and that's how the latest version is being published.
So, Me Among the Ruins is now part two of It's
Me Bandy, You Cissie
Here Bandy recounts more of his experiences as a
prisoner of the Bolsheviks, including marriage to
feisty-tempered Dasha. Two years after everyone else
has been demobbed, he's sent back to Canada and his
parents, which and whom he quickly flees for the
fast-paced life of a moving picture actor and stunt
pilot, the arms of heiress and aspiring pilot Cissie
Chaffington, and entanglement with the post-war
American underworld in the person of gangster Tony
The 2009 edition includes Donald Jack's radio play Banner's
Back in Canada, Bandy reprises and expands some of his
Russian experiences alluded to in earlier works. He
runs as a Liberal candidate (wanting only to get
patronage money for his aeroplane-building schemes)
and to the amazement of all concerned ends up not only
in parliament, but in McKenzie-King's cabinet. What
with perfecting the design of his sea-plane, the
Gander, and rumrunning for Tony Batt, things get
pretty complicated before the end.
This One's On Me
Bandy and the Gander head for England by way of
Iceland, where he makes the acquaintance of Sigga, a
doctor. In England he loses the Gander in rescuing the
heir to the sultanate of Jhamjhar, meets Sigga again,
and is engaged to form an air force for Jhamjhar.
Me So Far
Bandy and Sigga travel to India in the service of the
maharajah of an independent principality, where they
become entangled in the politics of the Empire as
Jhamjarh struggles with its neighbours, and with the
Raj, to keep its sovereignty. When things go pants,
Bandy is in the thick of the action as Deputy Supreme
Commander of the maharajah's air force.
Hitler vs. Me
Sometime between Jhamjhar and WWII, Bandy
and Sigga ended up involved in the Spanish Civil
War, on the politically incorrect side for the time,
opposing the fascists. Bandy, an instructor with the
RCAF, is desperate to be sent to active service to
avenge Sigga. He's also desperately trying to deny
the existence of his toupee. McKenzie-King finally
gratifies the former desire and sends him to
England, no doubt believing that he'll at last be
rid of Bandy. Meanwhile, he's coping with B.W., his
and Cissie's very hostile and resentful son, an
American who joined the RCAF and is now apparently
blind. Not one but two Bandys is more than the war
may be able to take. (And there are the two
Churchills, too.) Group Captain Bandy and his son
end up shot down in Normandy, in the hands of the
Gestapo and the Resistance, in June 1944. Bandy
never does get a VC and is rather put out about it:
the Victoria Cross is the only medal he doesn't
have. Originally published in 1996, Hitler
vs Me is now available for the first time in
paperback. The new paperback edition
also includes an added bonus: Donald Jack's
novelette "Where Did Rafe Madison Go?"
Stalin vs Me
At long last -- the ninth and final volume of the
Bandy Papers, Stalin Versus Me, in which Bartholomew
Wolfe Bandy has one final fling with death, despair,
and destruction, in the final year of the Second World
War. Click here for more
details on Stalin Versus Me.
print for the first time, Donald Jack’s comedy The
Canvas Barricade was the first Canadian play
performed on the main stage of the Stratford Festival (1961). The
original cast included Peter Donat, Kate Reid, Jack
Creley, Amelia Hall, Zoe Caldwell, and Bruno Gerussi.
Rogues, Rebels, and
The Story of Canadian Medicine, it presents a
series of portraits of Canadian surgeons and
physicians that shows the evolution of medicine from
pre-scientific superstitions to modern practices.
Sadly out of print, Rogues, Rebels, and Geniuses
is not only an education in medicine but is almost
impossible to put down, so packed is it with bizarre
and ludicrous anecdotes. If only Bandy had completed
his training at medical school...
two-act play, first performed in 1962. Described as
"high comedy about an unsuccessful businessman and the
three (simultaneous) women in his life".
Sinc, Betty, and the Morning
story of Toronto radio station CFRB and the hijinx of
the odd collection of characters who worked there.