You never know what doors will open when you write a book. After publication of GUNNER, based on my father’s war diary, I was contacted by Geoff Maple whose dad served in the same regiment.
After swapping info by email we finally met up last week on the rain-swept terraces of Dover Castle in Kent. There we took a look at the
type of weapon our dads used in action, an impressive 3.7-inch calibre, ten-ton, seven-man artillery piece.
Geoff has lived in Haslev, in the Sjælland region of Denmark, since the 1980s and was in the UK to compete in Motocross events. He travels around Europe to race his 1964 Woolwich-made Matchless G85 CS.
After looking at the 3.7 we retreated to the castle cafe and spent a couple of hours going through Geoff’s collection of photos and books. Our fathers both served in the 90th (Middlesex) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, in Europe during the Second World War.
My dad Leslie had joined his local territorial regiment. Gunner Frank Maple, who served with the 90th’s 284th Battery from 1940 to 1945, came from Rough Common near Canterbury, Kent. He found the North Londoners a clannish bunch at first. The only other local to Frank’s was Geoff’s Uncle Bert from Wingham.
It was a great to meet another son of the 90th and compare notes. We don’t know if our fathers ever met in a regiment of a thousand men but you never know.
GUNNER, written with my daughter Zoe, has attracted positive reviews – “Remarkable”, “Well worth the read”, “One of the most unusual books I’ve read about a veteran”, “Very informative, would recommend”.
All proceeds from ebook and paperback sales go to the Not Forgotten Association, a national tri-service charity that provides entertainment and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities.
You can find out more about the NFA’s work at these links:
GUNNER is available in paperback, price £3.80, here:
The GUNNER ebook, price 99p, is available here:
I HAVE been able to indulge my addiction to displacement activity following a very kind invitation from Kelly and the team at @lovebooksgroup to post a guest author blog. A huge ‘thank you’ Kelly & Co, lovely people. Just click the link below. Enjoy! https://lovebooksgroup.blog/2017/07/31/author-guest-spot-bill-todd-williamjtodd-bookblog/amp/
BACK in the world of fiction, I am cautiously optimistic that Danny6 – my sixth Danny Lancaster crime thriller, as yet untitled – is coming along pretty well. You can keep up with the latest at: