'Battling' Jack Turpin is the last surviving member of his generation of Britain's best-known, best-loved boxing family. Now almost 80 years old, he is still as charismatic and feisty as ever. In Battling Jack, Turpin tells his own unique story. It is a remarkable tale of a man whose indomitable spirit has out-stared ignorance and prejudice, tasted triumph and celebrity, and endured hardship and tragedy. Jack's father, Lionel Turpin, came from British Guiana to volunteer for the Great War. He was wounded on the battlefields of France and invalided to Warwick, the first black man to settle in the area. Lionel married a local girl but his early death left her struggling against poverty to raise their three sons and two daughters in pre-Welfare State England. As young men, the excitement and gladiatorial glamour of the ring lured Jack and his two elder brothers into professional boxing. From a homemade back street gymnasium, they punched their way into the record books and into the hearts of the British people. Battling Jack charts the remarkable life and times of the man who was once Britain's busiest featherweight.
It offers a ringside seat at heroic battles and comic encounters as Turpin vividly recalls the sport, sex and slapstick of life in the now forbidden boxing booths of the travelling fairs. He takes us behind the scenes of a scandal that rocked the sporting world and into his confidence over the mystery that surrounds his younger brother's death by gunshot. Complete with previously unpublished photographs, this is a wonderfully narrated account of the life and times of a very singular man. It is also the history of the beginnings of a black presence in British boxing. Heart-rending, raw, honest, and funny, Battling Jack is a story with a duty to be told.