Born at the wrong time
War was chaos, mayhem. Yet ordinary people achieved extraordinary things.
The young Leeds tailor had learnt to think for himself and do things properly. But war came, and with only basic training, he was pitched into the shambles of France in 1940. He survived to become a sergeant, training and then leading his men through some of the worst fighting of the war, across Holland and into Germany. Cyril needs all his cunning and skill to get the job done, and keep his men safe. Not all are as careful, or as lucky as he is. In the face of bitter resistance from the enemy and arrogant incompetence from some of their own officers, they press on to final victory.
Dave Foxton weaves Cyril’s sharp memories into a compelling narrative, seasoned with acute observation, frank opinion and a dry Yorkshire humour.
“One of the most informative memoirs of working class life that I have read...This book is invaluable for the rich detail of army life as well as the graphic accounts of battle. His frank descriptions of the nervous toll of combat are equal to any. Dave tells Cyril’s story wonderfully well.”
Prof. Gary Sheffield, University of Birmingham.
Published: 8 June 2013