Monday, 24 February 2014

Book Review: No Parachute - Arthur Gould Lee

This beautiful book is from the first world war which along with The Battle of Britain is a period of history I find most captivating. I could not rate this book highly enough. It is written rather like a diary based on real life correspondence in 1917 between Arthur Gould Lee (a young pilot in the Royal Flying Corps who later rose to be Air Vice Marshall, Royal Air Force) to his wife at home. Reading it really brings home to life how truly brave these young men were and the unimaginable terror and mass loss of life this great war brought to the young men of Europe. People faced their fate in resignation. They were fatalists, is this dive, is this attack going to be my last? I remembered Sagittarius Rising so vividly when I read this. I could not do justice to the authors nor the incredible people of this time to even begin to outline their combined achievements, their sacrifice, their loss. They just "got on with it" and accepted their potential deaths as a possible outcome. The book I got was a hardback version from Waterstones and is published by Grub Street but it is freely available from a variety of sources. Buy the book and transport yourself to 1917. It is a horror story filled with sacrifice and bravery, enough I think to stir the soul and help you imagine a time when men were men, and people were proud of their respective countries.

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