5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Duty and Honour
, 17 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Real 'Dad's Army': The War Diaries of Col. Rodney Foster (Hardcover)
This is a splendid read based on a diary that one presumes was never intended for publication. The diaryist, a retired officer from the Indian Army and one of the Old School is a man of honour, decency, integrity, diligence and dedication. Whilst his views of his some superiors might be seen as disaffection, his personal views never adversely influence his patriotism, his sense of duty nor his determination to beat the squalor that is Facism, an idealogy that is the very antithesis of his being.
This is a remarkable record of the Second World War, which melds the routine of daily life with the death and destruction of the war, mostly within viewing distance from his lounge. One aspect that he clearly articulates, is the incredible acoustic background to living on the front line that was Hythe. The noise of exploding bombs, torpedoes and mines, together with the constant crash of gunfire and the whine of piston engines driving planes and vehicles to war (never mind the constant and irritating damage to his garden fence by careless army drivers!) is indelibly printed upon the pages. This is not a cover to cover read but it is certainly a very fine one.
Whilst the title suggests a focus upon the Home Guard the story is much wider than that, encompassing everything from air-raids, vehicle accidents and plane crashes, to the Girl Guides, shopping queues, drunken soldiers and allotments. The passing vignettes on the tragedies of the people he knows hides immense loss for so many.
How sad that Rodney Foster cannot inform and inspire us in person. He has though, left us the next best thing. His perspectives are so practical yet moving; the very routine makes it fascinating. A Lost Generation now rediscovered!
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