Welcome to the climax of, the writing of Blood and Bandages. I hope the story, warts and all, has inspired potential writers and interested the book’s many fans. I have little to say other than that because the launch marks the moment a book leaves the creative creche and enters the outside world to stand or fall on its own merits. So, dear reader, I invite you to watch a recording of the book launch.
The second covers speeches from William and I. Those that have been following the series will recognise most of this.
The third covers the Q and A session and 101 year old William is on fine form.
Over 140 people attended the actual event, including representatives from the Italy Star Assocation, Surrey Infantry Museum and Mr Rob McIntosh from the Museum of Military Medicine. It was covered by local radio stations, Spirit FM and Juice FM and our local paper, the Shoreham Herald.
After the launch, there was a flurry of media interest. William and I were interviewed by Mark Carter on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex.
Forces TV and BBC South East Today sent camera crews to interview William.
Most movingly, I was contacted by strangers asking if William had served with or saved their relatives. Often the answer was no, but then Rodney Morgan wrote. I was delighted to be able to tell him that not only did William know his father, Staff Sergeant Morgan appears in the book!
Blood and Bandages has received excellent reviews and the function of WW2 Nursing Orderlies has become better known. Indeed, their role was highlighted in the moving BBC documentary, Gary Lineker: My Grandad’s War, in which William spoke to Gary about his grandfather’s responsibilities and the situations he would have encountered.
William’s last public appearance was on 11th November 2021 and he died peacefully on 11th March 2022 aged 106.
I am immensely proud of Blood and Bandages and am humbled and grateful to have been at the right place at the right time. As you’ve read, the journey was been neither straight-forward nor easy but it has been incredibly worthwhile. My passion for the book has not diminished over time and I constantly look for opportunities to promote it, not just for financial reasons, but because it embodies the values I cherish, those of service, sacrifice, loyalty, commitment, love and humility.
My next post will be on 12th May, when I’ll be re-visiting the RNLI’s role in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches at Dunkirk in May 1940.