Part 1 Live Respected, Die Regretted gives a brief history of Gerald’s life and his impression of how the war was going at the end of 1940 until he signed up in 1941. The letters then give quite a detailed description of his training at Sutton Veny, his dispatch to a mobilisation unit and his embarkation on the SS Strathnaver including a stop over in Cape Town. Censorship then kicks in as he arrives in Egypt and the story continues with the “Flap”, joining “P Ammo” up the “Blue” , Montgomery’s arrival, the Battle of El Alamein and beyond.

As a driver in the RASC he was attached to the famous “Seventh Armoured Division” delivering ammo to the front line.

All of Eva’s letters were destroyed before battles but the reader can make educated guesses as to their content. Gerald’s letters contain insights into the loneliness of the soldier miles from home without his sweetheart and the comradeship of his fellow soldiers. It also shows his continuing concern for his business and family back in “Blighty”. Humorous incidents are also recorded along with holiday snaps taken on leave in places that as a civilian he could never have hoped to go.

A transcript of his company’s war diary is also included so that the reader can understand where Gerald was from the dates on his letters and extracts from his own unauthorised pocket diary.