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Thursday 31 May 2012

Under the Queen's Colours

Under the Queen’s Colours by Penny Legg

Over 270 pages of reminiscences from servicemen and women during the Queen’s sixty years’ reign. Editor Penny Legg has performed a sterling job of interviewing, collating and editing this great array of voices and images that cover the period 1952-2012. Profusely illustrated, in b&w and colour.

I’m honoured to appear in here with a fairly lengthy piece, ‘The Navy Lark up the Khyber’ which covers part of a weekend spent in then-West Pakistan in 1969 while serving in the Royal Navy’s frigate Zulu. There’s even a colour photo of me at the gateway to the Khyber Pass! The original had to be cut by about 2,000 words, but you can’t see the joins – thanks, Penny!

There are three fellow Torrevieja Writers’ Circle members featured in the book, also: Gerry Wright, a national service Military Policeman serving in Cyprus (1956-58); Douglas Sidwell, serving in the Army in Borneo (1963), and John McGregor, serving in the RAF (1967), whose full adventures can be read in Fairy Tales of an SAC.

There are stories about day-to-day life, hair-raising escapades and dangerous situations and battles. Sad, intriguing, informative, amusing – the book has something for everyone. For anyone who hasn’t been involved with the armed forces, this book provides a marvellous insight into the conditions, the comradeship and the fun. For those who have served, the book will ignite many memories from their past.

Final chapter, fittingly, is ‘In Memorium’, in memory of all the fallen personnel, given a personal dimension by the sister of a Royal Marine Robert Don Griffin who died with many others in the Falklands.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RN & RM Charity and ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.

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