The Beginning of the End

True Short Stories That Show How the Demise of British Empire Began With The Second World War

This is a Short Story Book with A Difference: It has 113 true stories in it that show what it was like to live in a GIANT BUBBLE called the 2nd World War. Many of the stories describe the emotional and physical cost of a World War on the British people who were forced to endure almost 6 years of continuous fighting. Numerous individuals chose to supress their emotions by adopting the famous British 'stiff upper lip' while struggling with their inner fears. It wasn't the best solution; it was the only solution under the circumstances. By doing so it provided them with the sufficient inner strength to keep going through the unknown, for that's what their lives were like during this period, completely unknown and living on the edge day by day. Death was frequently perched on their shoulders, taunting and mocking them. Especially those in the military who lived through the terrible nightmare that was the daily carnage in the front line, because they knew that tomorrow could easily be their last day on earth. It was an abnormal existence dealing with their own mortality, and many succumbed to what was known at the time as 'shell shock,' and by the end of the war it was too much of a burden for countless men and women and was a contributing factor in many suicides in a society where being outwardly strong was considered to be an important asset.

Vij Books
  • Pages: 488
  • 9789388161909 • HARDBACK • Jan 2020 • Rs.1650
  • 9789388161923 • EBOOK • Feb 2020 • Rs.995
  • Subjects:
  • The Beginning of the End
author details

Roger Payne served in Britain's elite Parachute Regiment from 1960 to 1969 He and his family then moved to Australia where he enlisted in the  Australian Army as a physical training instructor training National Servicemen for Vietnam. He remained in the Army until 2003 by which time he was Chief Instructor of physical training to the Corps of Infantry. During this time he was awarded the highest's decoration a serviceman can get, the Chief of the Defence Force Commendation. A year later he was awarded one of the highest awards an Australian citizen can get, The Order of Australia. He is still the only serviceman to be awarded both.



THE BEGINNING (Sammy Kettle - Lots Road Chelsea - London’s East End, Ben Hall - Finally Get Away from It All - Deal - Kent, William Giles - Policeman - Central London, Ann Paget - Schoolgirl - Deal - Kent - Dunkirk, Rupert Wilton - 100th Engineer Company - Dunkirk, Lionel Rivers - MB ‘Ride of The Valkyrie’ - Dunkirk, Henry Osborne - Civilian - Small Ships - Dunkirk, Bobby Bloom - H.M.S. Grenade - Dunkirk, Martin Franklin - 32 Mobile Hospital - Armentieres - Dunkirk, Gordon Bonny - Royal Navy - H.M.S. Worcester - Dunkirk, Graham Starkey - 24th MTB Flotilla - Dunkirk, Oscar Bolt - 91st Field Regiment Royal Artillery - Dunkirk 60, Tom Spears - 254 Squadron - (Blenheim Bombers) - Dunkirk, James Laxer - The 1st Royal Tank Regiment - Brest, BATTLE OF BRITAIN, Ben Cusack - Journalist - How the Battle of Britain Was)
Really Won (Marjory Exley - 77 Squadron - West Dayton, Lloyd Andrews - RAF - Piano Playing, Harry Woking - 610 Squadron - Horton Park, Sam Berger - 602 Squadron - Westhampton, Norman Eastman - RAF Rescue Service, George Purcell - 12 Squadron - (Fairy Battles) - Dunkirk and The Battle of Britain, Janic Zumbach - 303 Kosciusko Squadron, Andrew Blandford - 56 Squadron - North Weald, Dan Bramble - 235 Squadron - Tangmere, Mo Sander Singh Pujji - 67 Squadron , Robert Tate - Age 16 - Winslow Farm - Kent)
THE BLITZ (Brody Lewis - The Bombing of Coventry 14th November 1942, Barry Hawkins - Local Defence Volunteers - Ramsgate, Tony Black - Schoolboy - Liverpool, Timothy Tate - The Fascists in Our Midst’s, Ken Browning - 15 Bomb Disposal Unit - London, Diane Godwin - B.W.T. Limited - Pontoon - Cheshire, Bert Freeberry - ARP Heavy Rescue Squad - London, Cliff Tarling - The Hertfordshire Regiment (Home Guard) , William Haley - Ammunition Worker - Birmingham, Raymond Hartley - ARP Heavy Rescue Service , Kenneth Powell - Boy - London , Ian Osborne - Auxiliary Fire Service - Birmingham)
ARCTIC AND ATLANTIC CONVOYS (Edmond Browning - HMS Otus (N92) Submarine (Halford Ogden - HMS Bulldog - Atlantic Convoys, Ray Edwards - Merchant Navy - MV Gloucester City - Atlantic Convoy, Ron Beech - 3rd Officer - SS Egyptian - Atlantic Convoy, Thomas Crabb - MV Ocean Valour - The Arctic Convoys, Henry Ashford - Rathlin - Rescue Ships - Arctic and Atlantic Convoys, Geoffrey Ball - SS Ocean Endeavour 11 - Arctic Convoy, Dylan Hughes - SS Dover Hill - Arctic Circle, Don Jarvis - Merchant Navy - SS Bosporus - Arctic Convoy
NORTH AFRICA AND BEYOND (James Parfitt - 6th Armoured Regiment - 1st Battle of El Alamein , Arthur Wallis - 15th Regiment Royal Artillery - 1st Battle El Alamein, John Costas - HQ 2nd Armoured Division - El Alamein., Harold Manning - 1st Armoured Regiment - 1st Battle of El Alamein , Keith Warden - RAF Photographic Unit 20 - The Western)
Desert (Arnold Hanks - 44th Home Counties Division - The Battle of El Alamein, Les Monash - 629 Squadron Royal Engineers - The Battle of El Alamein, Daniel Hall - ‘C’ Battery 4 RHA (Jock Column) - Western Desert , Frank Ward - 1st Battalion the Buffs - El Alamein, Peter Wellings - The West Yorkshire Regiment - The Battle of El Alamein, Clive Tonks - Glider Pilot Regiment - Yugoslavia, Len Reeds - HMS Fiji - Mediterranean, Garry Philpot - Royal Marine Detachment - Suva Bay - Crete, Thomas Canning - The 21st Tank Brigade - Tunisia , Oliver Halford – The Parachute Regiment - Tunisia , Vic Delves - The Hampshire Regiment - Salerno - Italy , Harry Wordsworth - 8th Army Rest Camp - Bari - Italy , Bill Heard - the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry - Anzio , James Hughes - The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - Monte Cassino , Alan Hunter - Bomb Disposal - Royal Engineers - Italy , Vic Fairfield - 51st Field Artillery - Royal Artillery - Italy , Eddie Gilles - The Welsh Regiment – Italy)
THE FAR EAST (Ken Oxley - Reporter - The Plans for the British Defences in The Far East , Frank Marsh - Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Company - Hong Kong , Howard Cloughley - The Royal Norfolk Regiment - Singapore , Desmond Curry - Ground Crew Seletar Airfield - Singapore , Arthur Summers - The Cambridgeshire Regiment - Singapore , Lenny Raines - POW - Changi Prison - Singapore, Clem Butler - The Cambridgeshire Regiment - Thailand, Trevor Blacklock - Prisoner of War - Thailand, Harry Anderson - 13th Indian Light Anti-Aircraft Battery - Royal Indian Artillery - Burma , Benjamin Horrocks - The Chindits - Burma , Charles Cooper - 8th Punjabi Regiment - Burma , James Maynard - The Devonshire Regiment - Burma , Rick Cruickshank - The West Kent’s - Burma , Jimmy Cameron - 369 Squadron RAF - Burma , Larry Cook - ‘Z’ Special Force - Imphal - Burma, Benny Crain - Japanese POW - Thailand)
NORMANDY AND BEYOND (Eric Langamede - Motor Launch 303 - Portland Harbour, Louis Bray - Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1383 - Normandy , Jules Dubois - British Columbian Regiment - 10th Armoured Brigade - Normandy, Robert Unwin - RCAF (Canada) - 404 Squadron (Typhoons) - Normandy, Henry Clement-Lapointe - Canadian Essex Scottish - Normandy, Len Barkley - 11th Parachute Battalion - The Parachute Regiment - Arnhem, Pierre Sévigny Attached to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, Michael O’Brien - 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards - Normandy , Robert Brown - The Durham Light Infantry - Normandy, Raymond Gibbs - 72nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery - Normandy, Fred Jarrett - 13/18th Royal Hussars Tank Regiment REME Detachment - Normandy, Geoff Rothwell - 138 Squadron - Gingerbread Men - ‘D Day’, John Grey - 8th Battalion the Royal Scots - Normandy, Bernard Cowell - Number 43 Squadron (Air Sea Rescue) - Plymouth, Ossie Ashby - 1st Armoured Regiment - The Irish Guards - Normandy, Ted Northam - 2nd Battalion the NorthamptonYeomanry - Normandy, Bruce Lindsay - 11th Armoured Regiment - Holland, Phil Newman - 1st Airborne Division - Arnhem - Holland, Ivor Maddox - Public Relations - Attached 8th Parachute Battalion - The Ardennes, Doug Bowden - Forward Observation Party - 24th Field Regiment Royal Artillery - River Rhine, Brummie Burton - Forward Observation Party - 4th Battalion the Wiltshire Regiment - Bremen , David Reynolds - Reporter - Normandy 1944, Richard Edward Payne - The Capture and Conviction of Lord Haw - Haw (James Joyce), Gabby Green - 2nd (Air landing) Battalion the South Staffordshire Regiment - Oslo - The wars end 1945, Tom Colby - Royal Marine - POW - The Day I saw Adolf Hitler And Could Have Killed Him, Ann Brady - Blackcurrant Jam)
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