24 Hours at Water­loo

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

by Robert Ker­shaw (WH Allen, 448 pages, £9.99) Pub­lished in pa­per­back just in time for the bi­cen­te­nary of this most fa­mous of con­flicts, 24 Hours at Water­loo con­tains ev­ery­thing you’d ever need to know about the bat­tle in one handy tome. Ac­com­pa­nied by maps and a time­line, Robert Ker­shaw pro­vides read­ers with a blow-by-blow ac­count of the fate­ful day based on an ar­ray of pri­mary sources, re­assem­bled with foren­sic pre­ci­sion.

The Se­cret Life of Bletch­ley Park with a sim­i­lar ti­tle, this time fo­cus­ing on the story of the Dunkirk evac­u­a­tion. Again, McKay uses a com­bi­na­tion of oral his­tory in­ter­views with ar­chive ma­te­rial, re­veal­ing how the au­da­cious res­cue un­folded. In­ter­est­ingly, we also hear how the events af­fected civil­ians back in Blighty, as well as the truth be­hind Churchill’s rous­ing ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ speech. Like thou­sands of young men, Ge­orge ‘Johnny’ John­son signed up to serve his coun­try dur­ing the Se­cond World War. How­ever, Johnny is unique, be­ing the only sur­viv­ing Bri­tish vet­eran of the 617 Squadron – per­haps bet­ter known as the ‘Dam­busters’. Packed with anec­dotes, this tells the story of the raid in Johnny’s own words, as well as his child­hood and life af­ter re­tir­ing from the forces.

If you’d like to see your fam­ily his­tory prod­ucts cov­ered here, send them to the ad­dress on p3

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