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Bombers, First and Last Hardcover – 30 Apr 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Robson Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861059469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861059468
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 564,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon Thorburn


...is the legitimate child of Hrothgar Tørbjorn, Swedish air ace, whose Volvo night fighter was mistakenly shot down over Dewsbury. Hrothgar sold his parachute and married Ivy Milburn, a Geordie ice-cream girl and exotic-dance understudy, in a private ceremony at Leeds City Varieties.

As a boy, Gordon was keen to be a bought ledger clerk with the Assembly of the Free Churches of Scotland but his father wanted him to be a poet or sculptor. As a compromise, Gordon enrolled at the Kirkstall Lane Temperance College to learn black-pudding knotting. He supplemented this with a course in participle dangling then ran away to London to be indentured to the advertising legend S H Benson, gent., as an infinitive splitter (hot metal).

After two years' trying to think of a different way of saying 'Guinness is good for you', Gordon joined McCann Erickson where he became known as 'The Nine out of Ten Copywriter'. Phrases he coined there included 'The Esso sign appertains to happy motoring', 'A Double Diamond works quite well considering', 'Oh, Bisto', 'Hardly anything acts faster than Anadin' and 'I'd like to buy the world a Jennings of Cockermouth'.

Gordon lived in Suffolk for 15 years, where shed enlightenment began to dawn but was cut short by a large number of Essex people moving in and erecting fibreglass Victorian street lamps in their gardens. After ten years in Appleby-in-Westmorland smallholding and good-lifing, with many stone sheds, a bull pen and a barn, he's now back in Suffolk with his wife Sue. He is working on several new books, including one about sheds.

See also www.gordonthorburn.co.uk
www.contactanauthor.co.uk/authorpage.php?id=241

Published 2010
The Classic Allotment. March, Remember When/Pen & Sword
The Classic Herb Garden. June, Remember When/Pen & Sword
Travelling Art - Gypsy Caravans and Canal Boats. June, The History Press
Cassius - paperback edition, July, John Blake
Pubs and their history - October, Remember When

2011
Unauthorised celebrity biography (under pseudonym). February, John Blake
Me and My MG - May.
The Pocket Guide to Sheds - June.
Remembering the High Street - September.

Kindle books
666 Squadron - The owl that shriek'd (WW2 fiction)
Pigs for Dinner (psycho-thriller)
Nicky Tams, King of Nosepipe (children's fiction)

Currently working on:
Jocks in the Jungle (Black Watch as Chindits 1944 - Pen and Sword)
Superpiss, Kiss Me, Bedcocks and Fart (international brand names)
The Fighter Pilot's Handbook

Earlier books published
No Need To Die, Americans in RAF Bomber Command. July 2009, Haynes
Cassius, true story of an exceptional police dog. March 2009, John Blake
Animal Spy - undercover investigations into animal cruelty. Sept 2007, Vision
Bombers, first and last - WW2 with No IX Squadron, RAF. June 2006, Robson
Men and Sheds - October 2002, New Holland (140,000 copies sold)
Ghosted autobiography of undercover agent. Simon & Schuster, August 2001
43 Unsporting Moments, Village Cricket, The Appleby Rai, The Buxton Baths Murders - own imprint.

Awards London BISFA 'Best Scriptwriter', Los Angeles ITVA 'Golden Reel' (both for video documentary about lack of treatment for kidney patients); Lakeland Books of the Year, Jennings Prize (The Appleby Rai).

Newspaper and magazine articles and stories - many, including Art Review, Crafts, The Independent, Yorkshire Post, Garden News, Garden Answers, Yorkshire Journal, Police Review, At Home (medical journal), Golf Monthly, Whitbread Magazine, Yours, Plain English, FlyPast, Armourer, Britain at War. American magazines Logbook and MAKE. Weekly humorous column This world of ours in the Yorkshire Post.

Career summary Benn Brothers (trade and technical journalism); S H Benson, then McCann Erickson (advertising copywriting); Thorburn Kirkpatrick (copywriting, editing, design, PR and print production); freelancing in copywriting, journalism, non-fictional and fictional books; editing and publishing under own imprint; more freelancing and more books.

Product Description

Review

"'Fighters are our salvation, but the bombers alone provide the means of victory' - Winston Churchill, 1940"

About the Author

Gordon Thorburn has worked as a professional writer, copywriter, scriptwriter, journalist and editor. He is the author of 'Men and Sheds' and has published books under his own imprint, including '43 Unsporting Moments'. He has also written for the 'Independent' and 'Flypast' among other publications. He lives in Sidmouth.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CherryBee on 25 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a well written and researched book, and gives some idea of the sheer scale of the contribution of this squadron to the bomber war. There are moments, however when the journalistic style (the author is, after all, a journalist) appears to belittle the appalling casualties. The author does highlight the total lack of understanding of the stress suffered by not only this bomber squadron, but all bomber command aircrew - if they survived long enough - by the RAF 'top brass'. There are very human moments recounted by the surviving crew members, and their sense of humour even in the face of the the most trying circumstances is astonishing. Of particular note is the account of the trip to Russia in order to attack the battleship 'Tirpitz'. The lists of those lost on operations at the end of the book gives one some idea of the scale of losses endured by this one squadron - multiply it over the whole of bomber command and one wonders how it has ever been possible to deny these men the campaign medal they so obviously deserve. This book is is a fitting epitaph to the courage of these ordinary men called upon to do extraordinary deeds in the hostile skies of wartime Europe, and recommended to all with an interest in bomber command at war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avi D Reader on 8 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
The author gives voice to the men (boys) who flew in one squadron. Look elsewhere for strategic analysis, moral uncertainty or triumphalism- you'll find them well covered elsewhere. What is truly special here is the professionalism, pathos and humour compiled from the reports and recollections of the crew, supplemented by their ironic 'line reports' (e.g. the anonymous: 'I find that running commentaries on the proximity of flak shells which include remarks such as "Christ that was close" are apt to confuse the pilot').
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anthony E. Ball on 16 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
In reviewing this remarkable book, I find myself somewhat ambivalent.The author, without question , has done justice to a Squadron which flew relentlessly from the early days of World War 11, when to some it was still considered more of a chivalrous sport rather than a killing field, to later when survival rates were being measured only in hours and days.I did not find it an easy read,the continuity of text at times being disrupted by material, albeit factual, but not immediately germane, which for me was a disconcerting element. I felt that his cavalier approach where individual crew casualties were recounted was often not in good taste, and by endeavouring to inject himself into the jargon of air-crew life, he was perhaps misguided , as this was their sole province and not the privilige of others.

However, the book exhibits moments of absolute pathos, integrated with irrepressible aircrew humour and outlandish line -shoots which make it thoroughly distintive; it is book which I highly recommend to any ex-air-crew or Bomber Command aficionado. It should be remembered that this was a Squadron which endured the loss of 192 aircraft, doubtless regarded euphemistically by the Air Staff as' acceptable'. It is a tribute in every way to the courage and determination of those who proudly served and survived with 9 Squadron and who are now able to share their experiences. The individual crew casualty lists appended with this book are a testimony to those who were lost; this is their benediction.
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By Wyn on 12 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book outlines the bravery of the men in Bomber Command, the dangerous missions they undertook night after night. It was particularly interesting to me as my mother's cousin, Flt Lt William Colson DFC (KIA 1943) in the photo flew with Harry Irons DFC as an air bomber and is mentioned several times. A great read.
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By David Purdy on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my father s his father is mentioned in it many times. A real good read to. m
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