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This book was designed, compiled and published by Chris Gill for MCWorldEnt.

Published through Ivana International www.ivanaint.com

Part Three: The War Diary

Entirely in John’s own words. Transcribed from the faded diaries, worn from continued travelling through the Western Desert “the Blue” and continual packing and unpacking as he advanced, retreated, recovered from illness, and advanced again. Written during 1941 - 1945.

Part One: The Prologue

A brief introduction to John and his family.

Part Two: The War Begins

For those too young to remember, and those who who may have forgotten, a brief timeline of the start of WW2 and how John entered the RAF.

Part Four: The Epilogue

A short summary of life after the war and where John lived out his life.

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War Diary of John Gill.

This little book is a simple transcript from John's own faded hand written diaries that went unread for over 60 years, now made into a book so that one small story amongst the many will not be forgotten.

John Gill's war diary is not about battles, heroism or conflict. It is a simple story of one young man's war.

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“We ducked. The bombs came sizzling down. My knees turned to water, so I just sat in the old trench and waited. There were three. They dropped about 50 yards away, and the shrapnel rained down. Two of my friends were hit, and one of them will be crippled for life, poor devil.”


“I was driving an open Ford, I tried all ways to block out the rain and freezing wind,but, it was no good, I got wet through and frozen to the marrow. At night, we pulled in near an old Italian fort, the ground was 6 inches deep in mud, dozens of the lorries got stuck.”

In the Blue - Behind the Front Line: War Diary of John Gill

He started out with so much enthusiasm and excitement to document what he probably imagined, despite the obvious dangers, to be an adventure. None of us can totally imagine the horrors of war without having experienced it, and youth can often lead to a degree of naivety especially in that era before mass media and modern systems of communication.


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These rather tattered little diaries spent many years at the bottom of a cupboard gathering dust with other inherited artefacts. They would probably have remained there if not for the curiosity of a loving daughter who having asked to see them proceeded to struggle through the faded text. She found them enthralling and interesting enough to copy into a more legible form.

From those transcribed texts this book was compiled, it may be less than 100 pages but that is perhaps part of its charm. Once begun it is hard to put down, and we feel we know the man by the time we get to the end.

It may not be a masterpiece of literature but it is well worth reading.


Thanks to Linda the diaries will not be forgotten.


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