Commemorating 70 years after the end of WW2 hostilities. A vivid insight, through a fascinating mixture of history, reminiscence and fiction, into life during World War 2 (WWII).
DEATH AND DESTRUCTION?
VIOLENCE, HATRED, INEXPRESSIBLE GRIEF?
PEOPLES PITTED AGAINST EACH OTHER, TO THE DEATH?
WHY ON EARTH SHOULD I WANT TO READ ABOUT IT?
THERE’S ENOUGH IN THE MEDIA EVERY DAY, SURELY?
BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT.
The stories in this Anthology aim to give a vivid insight, through a fascinating mixture of history, reminiscence and fiction, into life during WWII: for those at the front, those left behind, the young at school, the old in the twilight of their years, parents, lovers, spouses, families, colleagues; Britons, Germans, Irish, Kenyans, French, eastern Europeans and Americans (plus the odd ‘undesirable alien’!).
These pages see householders struggling to maintain a semblance of normality; young men reluctant to volunteer; soldiers determined to win; acts of generosity, acts of cowardice.
In these pages, there is violence – impossible to avoid in an Anthology dedicated to the memory of war – but there is also humour and romance, suspense and emotion, heroism and daring. Even the paranormal puts in an appearance (as one might say).
The action is set variously in France, Britain, Eire, Kenya, Russia, Poland ...
You are guaranteed hours of stimulation, enjoyment and fruitful relaxation with a book devoted to one of the defining events of our times.
STARE INTO THE PAST WITH THE EYES OF THOSE GRIPPED BY ITS DRAMA.
All the stories have been especially written for this Anthology by writers experienced in their field. Pneuma Springs is proud to present it to commemorate seventy years after the end of hostilities.
Karl Brockmann, Annie Coyle Martin, Julius Falconer, Peter Good, Neal James Andrew Malloy, Steve Morris, Neil Morton, Ron Ooms, Chris Pownall, Derek Rosser, Avril Saunders, Derek Smith, Louise Wilkinson
Although I was born in Cardiff, South Wales in 1957, I consider myself Scottish as my family hailed from Scotland’s Central Region. The son of a professional footballer, I returned home in 1962 with my parents to settle in the small Stirlingshire town of Denny. I did okay at school and especially loved English, winning top prize in a fifth year essay writing competition. I guess that success must have ignited a passion for the written word as I began to voraciously consume stories and novels of almost every genre from To Kill a Mockingbird to White Fang – from Catcher in the Rye to High Citadel. The urge to read has never left me, but, unfortunately, a particularly hectic and busy lifestyle would take its toll, often curbing my enthusiasm to pick up a pen or tap away on a computer. After leaving school, I worked in a variety of jobs including banking, stock control, sales and management before deciding I could be better off working for myself. In 1997, an insurance colleague and I started up an industrial cleaning business, re-investing some of our profits into a children’s nursery in 2006. Both businesses are doing well despite the recession. My main leisure interests are football, golf and playing bass/singing in a local semi-professional band. What with the businesses, the band, two wives (present one, Sue!), four children (two grown up plus 7 year old Dani and 3 year old Stephen) and not forgetting Daisy the Border Collie, the opportunity to write can be incredibly limiting at times. However, a combination of the unfaltering support of my family and friends and the fact that my body can function pretty well [...]
I was born in a tiny village in County Cavan in the south of Ulster. My parents were primary school teachers. Because there was no secondary school available I was sent as a boarder to two convent schools, St. Mary’s College Mountmellick, County Laois, and later to The Cross and Passion College in Kilcullen, County Kildare. In each of these schools I was lonely, and missed my parents. After secondary school I trained as a nurse in St Lawrence’s Hospital in Dublin and in 1957 emigrated to Canada. I have been making up stories all my life, a practise not encouraged either by my parents or my teachers. I felt I missed something in life by not attending university so in Canada I attended Laurentian University for an undergraduate degree and The University of Toronto for graduate work. I have worked in health care and in the civil service. In the Nineties I began to take courses in writing and in 1995 had a short story ‘Jody” accepted for an anthology, ‘She’s Gonna Be’. Thus encouraged I began a novel, The Music of What Happens’ which was published in 2001. Then I began to write ‘To Know the Road.’ – which is now being published. I have in draft my third novel, ‘Between Two Dusks’ which I hope will soon be ready to send to a publisher. Although fiction by its nature is lies, I think it often contains an underlying truth, and ever since mankind left messages on cave walls, writing and also music is what we leave to our children.
A Scottish born author whose first novel was about a family in 1960s Glasgow has penned a sequel in which they all move to Addlestone. They say ‘stick to what you know’ and that is exactly what Scottish born author Avril Dalziel Saunders did when penning her latest book. The 60 year old wrote her first novel, based on a family in 1960s Glasgow, five years ago and after pressure from fans who wanted to find out what happened to the characters she decided to write a sequel which saw the family in the book move to Addlestone. ‘Chasin that Carrot’ has now been published, and was released on October 31. Avril, who moved to New Haw in 1971, said: “When I wrote the first book, I always said that I would never write another one, because I’d already achieved what I wanted to achieve. “But I had letters from all over the world, including from Canada, America, Australia and South Africa, asking me what happened next, and asking me to write another book. “But the problem I had was that the first book was based in Glasgow, and I left Scotland in 1971, so I was worried that references to Scotland might not be accurate anymore. “So I decided to move the characters down to where I do know, which is Addlestone and New Haw.” Parts of Church Road in Addlestone are mentioned in the book, including the old Nat West bank which stood on the corner of Brighton Road, and the old library. Also visited by the characters are the railway station and shops in West Byfleet, and St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, where a new baby is born [...]
I’m very proud of my humble background, born into a loving family in the small Cheshire village of Bosley, in the United Kingdom. Sadly my Father died when I was nine years of age, leaving my mother Lucy to look after my sister Cynthia and I, until we were able to fend for ourselves. I left school at the age of fifteen with no qualifications, but managed to secure an engineering apprenticeship at a nearby mill. It was hard work with long hours, and I had to study at a college of further education until I was 22 years of age. Having completed my apprenticeship, I was promoted to the drawing office, but then developed itchy feet and thought of ways to broaden my horizons and travel the world. I joined the Merchant Navy and this was the break I needed to get me away from my roots, in the discovery of pastures new. As it transpired, the life at sea proved to be unsuitable for me and after my initial training and one trip to the Far East; I decided to move on once again. I secured a position as a design draughtsman with an engineering manufacturing company, which was to expand my engineering skills, but again, it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I am a very sociable individual and love meeting people and discovering new things and visiting interesting places. My fortunes substantially changed when I was appointed by James Walker & Co Ltd as a trainee technical sales representative. This was to be the beginning of a long career lasting almost forty years and following several promotions along the way; I finished up as an Industrial [...]
I was born in 1930, an only child and the son of a driver on the Great Western Railway. My mother was a ‘housewife’ whose mission in life was to look after her husband and son to the exclusion of any other career (as was the fashion in those days). My early years were happy although I subsequently realised that my parents were not well off. My education was spent during the war at Cotham Secondary School, Bristol following which I served a five year apprenticeship with the Bristol Aeroplane Company and spent the rest of my working life with that company, finally retiring in 1988 as a computer systems analyst. I was in my seventies when I wrote ‘A Reluctant Recruit’ and was so surprised at its reception and the comments made by reviewers, that I decided to tell the rest of my life story in two further books.
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 now spends his time between his home in the Carmarthenshire Millennium Coastal Park near Llanelli and the [...]
Julius Falconer completed six enjoyable years of university studies abroad (particularly slow, our Julius) before working as a translator back in the UK. Thinking that he could earn more as a teacher, to fund his lavish life-style, he took a PGCE at Leeds University and duly turned to teaching. He slaved away at the chalk-face for twenty-six long years in both Cornwall and Scotland before retiring to grow cabbages in Yorkshire, where he still lives. His wife of thirty-three years unfortunately died suddenly in 2000. He has one daughter, married. In 2009, looking to fill his new-found leisure profitably(?), he started to write detective novels and is still happily scribbling away seventeen books later. His interests include music, reading, walking, gardening and genealogy. Julius Falconer is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association. As well as some booklets and several dozen papers in professional journals, he is the author of eighteen murder mysteries featuring the diffident and cultured Inspector Wickfield. Because some of the stories are set in Worcestershire, he has featured in the Worcester News, on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester and in the online Newsletter for the Worcestershire tourist board.
I was born in 1964 near the town of Mulheim West Germany whilst my father was serving in the British Army as a Sergeant Major. I was the second of two sons, the first of which went on to serve as air crew in the Royal Air Force. Around 1967 my father was posted back to England where we settled once again near Durham. My life was good and secure with plenty of encouragement from my immediate family. By 1971 our army life was over and we were on the move again to live near family on the south coast where we still remain today. My schooling was not dynamic in any way as I floated along in the mainstream achieving average results at best in most subjects. The most vivid memory that remains with me from my time at school was being paid a compliment in front of the whole class by our most hard line teacher at the time for a fictional story I had written about a mongoose and a cobra, quite something at the time for a child usually unnoticed in the class from day-to-day. From school I went to work like most young people, to do any job I could get at the time but always hoped that one day I would be able to achieve a reasonable stature in life. Through relentless hard work and complete focus I eventually entered the motor industry and worked my way up to position of Dealer Principal in a company that I have spent the last twelve years in order to support my wife and son, and also my passion for WW2 History–a passion that I have had for [...]
I was born in Malta in 1961 where my father was doing his National Service. I was brought up in Guisborough, Cleveland, where my father was a local solicitor and my mother was a primary school teacher. I joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps as a Data Telegraphist in 1979 and then left in 1982 having served in Cyprus for over a year. I then worked in local government in Swindon, Wiltshire within the Finance Department. Having spent two years doing my “A” levels at night school, I decided in 1989 to give up work and return to the North East to go to university. I was offered a place at the University of Teesside and spent a fantastic three years studying politics, international relations, sociology and history. I was awarded a first class honours degree in Humanities in 1992, and then I went to York University for one year to do my Post Graduate Certificate in Education. As a newly qualified teacher I was successful in gaining a job at Grangefield School in Stockton on Tees as a history teacher. I have been there ever since, although I am now the Head of History in the school. After I had been teaching for a while I decided that I wanted to further my studies and I embarked on a Master of Philosophy research degree programme at the University of Teesside, researching Thornaby Aerodrome and 608 Squadron. My research meant that I had to interview many of the veterans who had served either at the Aerodrome or as part of the squadron. Many were in their eighties and did not understand the idea of the degree, they thought that I was [...]
Neal James has been writing since 2008 when his first novel. ‘A Ticket to Tewkesbury’, was released. Since that time eight more books have followed, and ‘Short Stories Volume Two’ is his tenth work to be published in as many years. He has appeared in both the national and local press, and has also been a regular at branches of Waterstones and local reading groups and libraries in his home counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. An accountant for over 40 years, that training has given him an insight into much of the background required in the production of his writing so far. He lives in Derbyshire with his wife and family. Find out more about Neal James and all his writing on his website: www.nealjames.webs.com
I was born in Pancras London 1939. I went to sea at the age of 16 in 1955. I lived in Mitcham Surrey until 1964. When I married an Australian lass I moved to Melbourne. I have worked as a Merchant Marine Steward, Forestry and bridge worker, cook, publican and salesman. Life at sea and travel to many lands inspired me to take up where my English teacher left off. My first effort at a novella was ‘Drifting Beneath the Red Duster’ and I’m now working on a new book. I would like to bring my grandfather’s history as a professional soldier from the age of 14 in 1892 Indian Army, Boer War, WW1, village postman and musician to life in my next book. I enjoy golf and long walks on the Mornington Peninsula where the sea and countryside are very special.
Ronald Ooms is a 34 year-old Belgian author. He worked for almost a decade as a youth worker for numerous socio-cultural non-profit organizations. Since his childhood he has been interested in everything related to World War II thanks to the stories told by his grandparents. For more than a decade he travelled to historic places relating to the War whenever possible. Some years ago he became a qualified journalist and started to write for a local newspaper. His close friendship with Clancy Lyall over the years resulted into the writing of the book, Silver Eagle. He’s also got a passion for motor-sports and hopes to write something about F1 Racing one day. Ronald is available for interviews, even abroad. Should the distance be too far or he can’t make the trip, he would gladly do a telephone conference. He resides in the city of Geel in the north of Belgium.
Steve Morris is a teacher and examiner of mathematics and science. He travels around his region of England teaching students who are too ill to get to school. Despite a background surrounded by facts and figures, one of Steve’s lifelong passions has been his love for English literature and of collecting antiquarian books. Learning to talk at a “spookily” early age and never afraid to speak his mind, Steve was taught to read fluently by his parents at the age of four. Story writing quickly began in his own schooldays where he enjoyed putting his vivid imagination to good use. With a growing supply of quite bizarre short stories, Steve’s words found early success in magazines and anthologies in both the UK and overseas. 2009 saw Steve realise a lifelong ambition with the release of his debut book In All Probability: A Collection of Short Stories, which with a nod of approval from the press developed a modest cult following. This was followed in 2010 with a second collection Jumble Tales. Steve graduated in mathematics from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1993, where he also enjoyed representing them in soccer for four years. A lifelong bachelor who prefers a single life, Steve places great value on trusted friendships and on some brave students he works with. He currently lives in a rural location on the Cheshire / Shropshire border accompanied by a guardian of a dog. 2011 saw Steve winning a short story award for the first of what will be a series of upbeat short stories. 2012 will see the release of Steve’s first full-length novel Playing Havoc, again published by Pneuma Springs. He would love to write a short story [...]
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