No Glory Without Effort / Pas de Gloire Sans Effort


No Glory Without Effort / Pas de Gloire Sans Effort

SKU: 9780995120501 Category:


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ISBN: 9780995120501
Title: No Glory Without Effort / Pas de Gloire Sans Effort

Flight Lieutenant Noel Stokes was not far from the end of his duty when he suddenly found himself hurtling into evasive action to shake off a night-fighter. Both pilots had taken advantage of low-lying cloud near Chateaudun, and the German had the better of it. The first part of this book focuses on what well-trained airmen would be expected to do. Once his men had baled out he could consider his own escape. The second part of the book imagines what his thoughts were, based on his diaries. The problem was that he was not really alone. Newly trained pilot John Morris was temporally hampered by his parachute, which had caught in the overhead levers of the upper escape hatch. The time required to release himself, put his parachute back on and dive through the lower hatch was possibly time that could have given Stokes a chance to dive out too. The crew members’ diaries and escape reports fill out the facts as written when the men returned to England. The book then turns to the French view to fill in more details about the people who guided the airmen to safety. With new maps and rare photographs we follow the path to safety at the Forest of Freteval. Credit is given to members of the Resistance who risked the possibility of reprisals had the Germans been able to discover who they were. There was more to it than this, though. It became clear that the Germans had some unknown techniques and tactics which Bomber Command either did not know of or preferred to dominate simply with its numbers of bombing. The Germans were doing a job for their country just as the Allies were for theirs, and the book includes interesting information of their methods. Who was the pilot who killed Noel Stokes and Norman Wilding, his rear gunner? Because the kill was not verified we may never know. We have a fair idea, but feel that it is better to focus on the duty of remembrance. The book is in two languages because France, England and New Zealand do not want to forget what should never be forgotten. The single grave that holds the remains of Stokes and Wilding lies in the communal cemetery of Yevres, Eure-et-Loir. On a stained glass window in the village church are the two men’s names alongside those of brave French men who also sacrificed their lives for freedom. In the village, street signs bear the names of these men. And every year, there is a ceremony with a street parade, a church service – all ending with speeches and a splendid meal, to which visitors are welcome. The important roles of women should be noted. They bravely scattered flowers onto the grave defying the Germans’ ferocity, they welcomed the airmen into their homes, and they rode with them on bicycles to escort them to safety. This book is full of bravery and the importance of remembrance.

Format: Paperback
Publication date: 06/10/2019


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