By Patience and Perseverance and
a Bottle of Sweet Oil
Grandpa’s War, Volume 1
Edited by Effie Cadwallader
By Patience and Perseverance and a Bottle of Sweet Oil is the first volume of an account of an ordinary soldier`s experiences during World War 2, one man`s course through seven years of activity not of his own choosing, recounting episodes, individuals and activities in extraordinary detail.
We follow George West from the shock of being transformed from a teenage accounts clerk into a soldier before war broke out in 1939, through the confusion of the Phoney War to the horror of Dunkirk and its aftermath.
George`s story isn`t really about fighting or regimental business; it is a chronological account of the incidents and elements of his daily life, described in interesting detail, with a few adventures and some odd characters thrown in.
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There are simmering feuds, romantic dalliances, humanitarian rescues and comic moments, as well as the inevitable fear and danger.
George matures from an innocent nineteen-year-old driver into a highly competent, resourceful and inventive Sergeant Mechanic, Royal Engineers. Volume 2, “The Snail, at Length, Reached Jerusalem” covers the second part of George`s war, from North Africa, through Sicily, D Day, “A Bridge Too Far” and Belsen, to demob in 1946.
George qualified as a primary school teacher soon after demob and had a successful career back in South Shields, specialising in teaching literacy and numeracy and, of course, drawing and painting, before retiring to live with Kathleen in Shropshire.