This is a compelling book for lovers of sea and air stories from the Great War era. In the twelve stories told by the participants, many of whom were decorated for bravery, they describe their experiences of events: stories of luck, tenacity, courage, extreme danger, excitement and bravery. Also included are photographs to help set the scene for the vignettes and details of the authors' lives where possible. Seven stories detail the war at sea, while the other six reflect the war in the air from a civilian and combatant point of view. The exciting thing about the stories, apart from their freshness, is that they have remained unpublished for nearly eighty years and they are written by participants who describe exactly what they experienced and felt. Mrs Peel describes what an air raid was like from a civilian's point of view, and pilots describe both the humdrumness of some of their work and how it could suddenly change in to a fight for their life, in which luck often played a part in their survival. At sea, the authors describe the struggle to overcome the U-boat menace using Q ships and reveal the boredom, suspense and danger involved in laying a trap.The Battle of Jutland is described from an officer's active view of events, and the sinking of the Audacious is described by someone who was aboard and sworn to silence about the events.
There is also the exciting story of the chase and fight between the Carmania and the Cap Trafalgar.
David Bilton is a retired teacher who spends his time looking after his family, working as a university lecturer and researching the Great War. He is the prolific author of numerous books about the British Army, the Home Front and the German Army. His first book, The Hull Pals, became the BBC 2 series The Trench. Since he started writing he has contributed to many television and radio programmes. His interest in the Great War was ignited by his grandfather's refusal to talk about his experiences in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.