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Life's Too Short to Cry: The Compelling Story of a Battle of Britain Ace

Life's Too Short to Cry: The Compelling Story of a Battle of Britain Ace [Kindle Edition]

Tim Vigors
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Tim Vigors was one of the Few, and indeed there can't have been many like him ... (an) exhilarating and moving memoir' --Daily Mail

... a trove of war stories --The Times

Truly fascinating reading of a very different era --The Daily Telegraph

... a trove of war stories --The Times

Truly fascinating reading of a very different era --The Daily Telegraph

Product Description

It is not often that a remarkable gem of a manuscript is uncovered and published. Geoffrey Wellum’s First Light was one example. The memoir of Timothy Ashmead Vigors is another.

Born in Hatfield but raised in Eire and educated at Eton and Cranwell, early 1940 found Tim Vigors in France flying Fairey Battle bombers. After the Fall he converted to fighters joining 222 Squadron with whom he saw frantic and distinguished service over Dunkirk and then during the dangerous days of The Battle of Britain, when he became an ace.

Transferred to the Far East in January 1941 as a flight commander with 243, then to 453 Squadron RAF, on 10th December he led a flight of Buffaloes to cover the sinking Prince of Wales and Repulse.

Dramatically shot down, burnt and attacked on his parachute, he was evacuated to Java, and from there to India. And this is where his handwritten account ends.

Throughout, the author describes his experiences in an honest, refreshing way. It is a fascinating and valuable record, one destined to be seen as a classic.

Postwar, Tim was no less active primarily in the horse world, in Ireland and England, selling, breeding and consulting; but also in aviation, with his own company Vigors Aviation.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1176 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street (31 Jan 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005K0CM3I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,253 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of its genre 30 Jan 2013
By N smith
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many similar books of which all have their individual merits. However Tim Vigors book is, in my opinion one of the best. His excellent and easy style of writing is most readable and his accounts of his war and personal life experiences are vivid. You find yourself racing through the pages and at the end of the book, you really want to find out what happened next as you will have, in all probability formed an attachment with him through his writing. Clearly Tim Vigors was a proud, brave and caring man as well as a real character who enjoyed life to the full. These traits together with his fluid writing style sets this book apart and makes it a special read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellant engaging memoir 26 Nov 2010
By pat
i find it to beleive that the previous reveiwer gave this book only a 3 star rating it's a 5 star book by any measure. I source and collect WWII biographys mostly luftwaffe and kreigsmarine with some royal navy and RAF for a more rounded perpective of how individuals fought during the war. This book is by far the best first hand account of fighting in the battle of britain from eitheir side of the english channel. Tim vigours is definitly anti establishment in that he had little time for rules and regulations and incompetent senior officers while britain was fighting for her very exsistance. as a senior flight commander he could have sitted out many scrambles but he seems to have jumped in that cockpit every time the klakson sounded, flying and fought the luftwaffe many times each day.
what i found very interesting was the amount of pilot losses in the RAF, he talks very honestly about savage dogfights where the RAF did'nt always come out on top.
A great book, in the same league as "the big show" and "tumult in the clouds"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable story, remarkable man 26 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read so many fighter pilot stories that I doubted whether this one would be unusual. I'm glad I doubted because it made the surprise all the better; this is an outstanding story, perfectly written. Ignore any of the derogatory comments of others on this site. Far from glorifying himself, the author openly writes of his some dreadful failures.
Like any captivating read, I was sorry that this one came to an end, but I was left continually thinking how the events in this book, the turbulent and dangerous action, his achievements in flying and promotion to positions of great responsibility, unbelievable luck in escaping certain death, and his general living life to the full, all occurred before he was twenty years old.
Tim Vigors was a good writer and an interesting, friendly character who like so many of that age and time had to adapt themselves to living in the midst of death as best they could. It is quite plain that he is a sensitive man who had to deal with grief and hardship and yet carry on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humble account from a Spitfire hero 27 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like every real hero Tim Vigors doesn't see himself as a hero. This is a fascinating account from "one of the few" who fought first the Battle of Britain, and later during the WW. Tim survived the war, and later on even befriended German fighter pilots. When looking back he can also admit that the Spitfires and Hurricanes wasn't superior to the ME Bf109 or Fw 190 as such, or the allied pilots for that matter. Things were in the balance, and if the German political leaders hadn't messed it up so badly (thank God they did), the outcome could have been different. A good read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very interesting story 20 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book very interesting, it's amazing how some people survive in such terrible conditions, amongst all the chaos around him Tim Vigors survived, a truly remarkable story.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in war and survival.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and enjoyable read. 8 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would thoroughly recommend this and would say one of the best books I have read on the Battle of Britain. I found that I wanted to know more about this extraordinary man at end of the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil looks after his own 19 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tim Vigors is a lucky man. He was also over confident and not a little stupid as a young pilot. His story brings home the common occurrence of the sudden loss of friends and comrades sometimes minutes after talking to them. It also reads a little like Forest Gump as Tim tours through some of the major campaigns of the war. He fights in the battle if Britain escapes the fall of Singapore and survives because of the luck if the devil himself. A slowing start but a gripping read after that to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lifes to short to cry 10 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent. Not sentimental but moments of great sadness when he mentions in an almost casual way the many friends and aquaintances lost at a very young age. An excellent insight into the incompetence that led to the sinking of The Prince of Wales and the Repulse. All in all a compelling history of one mans war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
lifes too short to read this book
Published 5 days ago by Michael R. Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars An Irish Battle of Britain Ace
An interesting account of what was the development of an Irish Battle of Britain fighter ace. The author was clearly a very brave man, and I found his relaxed flowing prose easy... Read more
Published 1 month ago by powerpictor
2.0 out of 5 stars Self Indulgent
The book was interesting to begin with but it then became repetitive and focussed far too much on the 'amazing' exploits of the author - painting him as the saviour of all around... Read more
Published 3 months ago by DavidM
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging read
Thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish. What a life! Tim Vigors achieved more in his life by his early 20s than most people would in 50 lifetimes. Didn't want it to end. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. V. J. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Excellent story very hard to put down. Easy reading no complications straight forward good plain English pity so many young soles lost their lives.
Published 13 months ago by Mick
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed the style of this tale of Tim's journey from young man to professional fighter pilot. Also the odd story wheeler dealing. Most enlightening. Read more
Published 13 months ago by nigel cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very good
A very well written and informative book, this covers most of the flying career of Tim Vigors from growing up. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. M. Regan
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not a patch on First Light by Geoffrey Wellum
This is a reasonable account of a rich and interesting life, but you can't escape the impression of a rather privileged upbringing, including an Eton education. Read more
Published 16 months ago by The Dog
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
If you have an interest in flying and an interest in World War 2 in particular then this is a really good book. Thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommended. Need I say more?
Published 16 months ago by Duncan Cunningham
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