Friday, 25 May 2012

Reluctant Hero by John Hickman

This is the story of Bill Honey (later to be called Hickman), known as Ballsy Bill or Arsey Bill. He is the authors father and this is his war story. It is a war biography telling the tale of Bill's experiences during the Second World War, from early life to joining the RAF and his war efforts. It tells of meeting his wife and the birth of his son through to his demobbing at age 23.

This was an interesting read. It was poignant, at times funny and the author told the story of his father's war time experiences with a fondness that shone through. Yes it was 'another war biography' but it was much more than just a recanting of wartime experiences. The different ops Bill went on were told in stark frankness and I learned so much more about WW2 than I ever did in history. My own grandfather flew Lancaster Bombers during the war and it made me realise how lucky I was to have him during my life when so many men didn't come home. Alongside the horrors of war and Bills continuing disillusion in the RAF and the powers that be - we had tales of life at home and meeting his wife and the birth of his son (the author). In short this is a great telling of the life of the author's father. I recommend it for lovers of biographies, war stories and history alike.