MICHAEL VEITCH is no stranger to The Good Life and we always welcome his articulate and entertaining presence. This time we were speaking about his latest book, another story dedicated to one of the air force heroes of WW2 wom Michael so greatly admires.
Barney is now 97 and fortunately still has a wonderful memory, as well as a splendid collection of correspondence from those early years. Joining the air force as a young man, he decided tha the safest pace in the plane would be the comparatively sheltered area from which the bombs were dropped.
He flew with a similarly youthful crew and sadly there were many lives lost during vicious battles at the height of the air war. It was on his 2oth flight mission that their plane was hit and, escaping by parachute, he was the only survivor from the crew.
Miraculously, he was not badly hurt and was looked after by sympathetic French country dwellers. He joined the ranks of the Maquis, based in German occupied France. Michael’s book tells hair raising stories of this time, the ruthless killings on both sides of those regarded as traitors.
Eventually, Michael escaped and was able to return to Australia, where his story has remained untold for all these years.
Several years ago he was belatedly awarded the French Legion of Honour medal.
This is yet another story Michael has managed to uncover and share and it is thrilling read. It would be a brilliant Christmas present for a young man yearning for adventure or for someone more mature who has memories of those earlier days of heroism.
BARNEY GREATREX: FROM BOMBER COMMAND TO THE FRENCH RESISTANCE – MICHAEL VEITCH ……………………….