What a story! This is a very well written book in which Bill Earl's bloody experiences on the battlefield are beautifully interwoven with the historical sequence of WWII campaigns through which he served. This very readable story conveys the awful conditions that Bill and others endured and reminds us of the grinding length of time that warfare actually took, as well as the dreadful human toll....and then there's Bill's wife Mary and his family waiting back at home, waiting, while trying to get on with their lives. Bill's experience is unique to him but at the same time, this book is a wonderful testament to all the men who served in the RAMC and Bill's first hand testimony gives a great insight into what their experience of war was like. Hats off to Liz Coward for bringing Bill's personal story and an important chunk of RAMC history together so well. Highly recommended.
Rarely do you discover a book that explains wartime facts in an easy to read style without overlooking the human element of the subject. William Earle has had a fascinating life and retains the ability to totally recall his harrowing experiences despite his age of 102. Add his natural wit and you have a page turner that is both enjoyable and informative.
Review on behalf of Stephen Coward of Shoreham A really good read. I couldn't put it down. I particulary liked the way William's words were integrated into the story. The story gives the reader a very visual image. When can we see the film of the book?
What a really wonderful book , I do not pretend to know as much as I should about the War and this booked was written in such a way that for the first time ever (I am 43!) I have a much clearer insight of exactly how people were affected and lives changed due to their amazing bravery fighting for our country . I was totally hooked from page 1 to the last sentence and really did love the story . This book so rightly, had to be written as Bills tale of his life now at 102 would have gone untold other wise . I loved the facts of the book, but what I noticed most was the warmth and truthfulness of the words from this exceptional man and the story had me wanting to read more . I must admit I don't get to read books very often , but this story has given me a passion to read again and I truly couldn't put it down . What a wonderful achievement for the author to have proudly told the story for Bill one that so rightly should be heard . To hear of the tales and facts from someone so close to the front line , but not fighting was just a brilliant side to read about ,and I really did love how when reading I followed Bills life for all those years in his job and also his personal/ family life . I really do recommend this book and I have done to others .
OK, so I maybe a little biased here, having been really only an observer and aid as Liz and Bill wet on their writing journey together that now finds them with the book of Bill's war life finally published and in their hands. It's not been an easy one though and for those of you who are interested in the writing process then you should head over to Liz's blog, lifeon-shorehambeach.blogspot.com, where she has detailed the journey and process in detail, with all of it's ups and downs, sacrifices and successes. The struggle to get the book written and published means that there was a considerable amount of love and effort put into it to get it right. As a result, you will be captivated by the story as you turn every page.
As you journey through the book you don't just get a sense of Bill's life from the before the war to it's conclusion but of the many lives that took the same path, lost memories from a lost-forgotten campaign, The Italian Campaign, and of the land they left behind to the one that greeted them when they returned. Each of the chapters leaves you wanting to know more. Some of the memories will make you recoil in disbelief, of the horrors and sadness that war brings, but others will give you the heart warming moments and the love that drove Bill through the war as he struggles to stay alive for his sweetheart, Mary, back home.
People who have read it say that it's a real page-turner and that they haven't been able to put the book down and I have to agree. So, yeah, maybe I am a little biased but read it for yourselves and you make up your own mind and then tell me if I was wrong.