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Ordinary Heroes: The extraordinary tale of 106 Army Troops Company Royal Engineers - Charles Jones | Work

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The book tells the story of the people who built the great railway engines when they went to war.

They had little idea of the great events in which they were participating.

The simple task of editing the diaries together became a fascinating detective story to provide a proper context for their war.

This is not a war story but uses diaries and recollections of ordinary people to describe how they felt.

Browse Ordinary Heroes: The extraordinary tale of 106 Army Troops Company Royal Engineers - Charles Jones

1904623085
9781904623083
01-07-2004
£14.99
£14.99
312

They left for France a week after war was declared and some did not return until a month after the end of the war. After the war, they went back to their families and their work.

When one of the diarists, Bill Harvey, returned to Doncaster in June 1945 he offered his fare to the conductress on the tram taking him home. She refused it. ‘You have already paid enough.’ The debt remains unpaid and will soon be cancelled as these ordinary heroes pass away.

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The writers of the diaries were not told the wider drama in which they were players. The historical issues opened by these diaries were substantial.

  • Could they really have been the first unit to go to France in 1939?
  • Were some still in France after the French Armistice in June 1940?
  • Could this small unit have played a significant role in the battle of El Alamein even though they were struggling to survive as POWs by the time the battle took place?
  • Were they present at the birth of the legend that has become the Special Air Service?
  • Did British POWs take over their death camp when the war ended as they waited for liberation? Certainly, as they have photos to prove it.

After six years research and letter writing, the answer to all these questions is, ‘Yes’.

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