Flight Lieutenant Joseph Thompson, aka ‘Mac’, left his mother’s small Birmingham home in December 1943 at the age of 18 to join the wartime RAF. This book follows his journey through the hardship and adventure of basic & gunnery training, a love affair with a girl from Liverpool, crew friendships, losses and disasters, over 20 Lancaster bombing raids, a virgin mission which ends in a ‘ditching’ in the North Sea, and a post-war stint in Singapore. Joe’s original letters and his mother’s replies are the narrators of this story, which begins and ends with the events surrounding their re-discovery some 65 years after they were written. The wartime experiences of the family Joe left behind, also unfold. A mother, widowed in 1941, struggling to cope physically, financially and emotionally with four children during wartime, while working full time in a factory. There is much love, detail and hardship in these letters, which ultimately end with heart-break that could not have been foreseen.
|Dimensions||156 × 234 mm|
Helen Thompson is the 50-year-old niece of the story's hero, Joseph Thompson, although they never actually met. Born in Birmingham, Helen now lives in North Yorkshire with her large family, where she works as a photographer. This book is a labour of love, written on behalf of her father, as a tribute to her uncle, and captures the stories of and behind a series of letters written 70+ years earlier, which changed her life.