Today’s post presents a new book: Geoffrey Guy’s War: Memoirs of a Spitfire Pilot 1941-46 by Geoffrey Guy, edited by Jennifer Barraclough and David Guy, published by Amberley UK this month October 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4456-0022-2); please click here for details. It is the story of a young Englishman’s progress from the joys of student life and first love at Oxford, through the adventures of learning to fly in Canada and the Middle East, on to the horrors of aerial combat over Burma and a remarkable experience of survival.
Geoffrey was my uncle. He never talked with me about his time in the RAF, though I have a childhood memory of a game we played on top of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire, running in the wind pretending to be Spitfires. Our family was, and still is, fairly scattered geographically but after I grew up I was able to see Geoffrey, his wife Joan (Johnny) and son Ben several times a year, until I moved to New Zealand in 2000.
Before he died on 1 December 2006, Geoffrey had written an account of his wartime experiences, and recorded some further recollections on tape. My cousin David Guy, who wrote Geoffrey’s obituary for The Times (26 February 2007), collated this material to form the basis of a book and I subsequently retyped and edited the manuscript and submitted it for publication. In the process I learned a lot about the Second World War and its aircraft, and enjoyed a trial flight (though not in a Spitfire) at the North Shore Aero Club.