No Cousin of Mine

Derek Smith (2010)

History   Non-fiction   World War 2

The book covers the author’s two years serving as a National Serviceman in the RAF on number 256 night fighter squadron in Western Germany. It includes some of the author’s adventures with his comrades. The stories range from funny to slightly strange, and some just totally mad. The foreword is written by John Noakes a famous Blue Peter presenter who served with the author.

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About this book

The incidents described in this book, however improbable or implausible they may appear to be, are all completely true and have needed little or no embellishment on the part of the author.
They all took place during a two year period between 1952 and 1954, and helped to transform a callow, naive, possibly diffident youth, into a tougher, more worldly, self confident young man, teaching him along the way, the importance of discipline, self-reliance and loyalty.
For readers who remember this time, hopefully the book will re-kindle memories of their own experiences during this era.
For readers for whom these years are part of an ancient history, perhaps it will give them some idea of what it was like to be taken from your family, friends, and familiar surroundings, and to be sent to a foreign land long before the advent of television, phones in homes, mobile phones, computers or any of the means of communication taken for granted today.
Whichever generation you belong to, take a journey through these stories, some of which are happy, some of which are sad, some of which are slightly strange and some of which are just plain mad. Read on!

The foreword to this book has been written by John Noakes, probably the most famous of all the presenters of the Blue Peter programme. He and the author were part of a close group of friends who formed part of the ground crew of Number 256 Royal Air Force night-fighter squadron serving as part of the Second Tactical Air Force in Western Germany and share many memories of that period.

About Author

Derek Smith

Derek Smith was born in 1931 at the Selly Oak Hospital Birmingham to parents who had relocated from Merseyside. He attended Yardley Wood School and in 1942, shortly after returning from the Staffordshire village of Yoxall where he had been an evacuee, he won a scholarship to Moseley Grammar School. After leaving school he worked for the International Nickel Company at their Research and Development Laboratories in Birmingham and continued his studies on a day release basis. In 1952 he was called up for National Service in the Royal Air Force and joined Number 256 Squadron based in Western Germany. He was demobilised in 1954 and in 1956 went to work for the Steel Company Wales near Swansea. In South Wales he, his wife Marjorie and their two boys, Roger and Duncan, lived in the village of Pennard on the wonderful Gower Peninsular, the first ever designated ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’. In 1978, after 21 years with British Steel, as it had then become, he moved to a new plant being built by the Aluminium Company of America (ALCOA). Unfortunately, the British arm of the company fell into financial difficulties and his new job became redundant. In 1983 he graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in integrated sciences that gave him a teaching qualification and he became a Physics teacher at the Blake School in Somerset. His children, now grown up, stayed in Swansea when he and his wife moved to live on the Somerset levels in the village of Othery. He continued teaching until he retired in 1996 and [...]

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