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The stories behind the story

Great, unpublished


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A gripping veteran account of the Beaches at Dunkirk, 1940. Chapter 1 of Bill's published memoirs.

Bill Cheall’s traumatic experience on the beaches at Bray-Dunes, France, 1940, trying to get back to England.

The recently discovered personal WW2 diary and letters home from Major Petch offer a unique glimpse into the lives of the British soldiers before and after Germany invaded in 1940.  A dramatic blow by blow account of the Major's writings. Would they get off the beaches at Dunkirk? Furious - Fascinating - Funny! Great unpublished history.

A rare and rewarding opportunity to hear 96 year old war veteran Wilf Shaw's WW2 memories, sometimes tragic, often hilarious.

Paul Cheall has a coffee and chat with Wilf Shaw of 6th Battalion the Green Howards, 50th infantry division, in the British Army.

Wilf fought in many campaigns including fighting for Monty’s 8th army in Alamein, Wadi Akarit in Tunisia, Sicily and of course Normandy. He was wounded twice and still returned to battle!

Graphic accounts of the D-Day landings taken from two WW2 veteran memoirs


Startling accounts from two different perspectives - one from an infantryman, the other from a Royal Engineer, both landing on Gold Beach under heavy fire.

The famous battle of El Alamein turned the tide against the German army in North Africa. Shortly after, Allied victory at the savage battle of Wadi Akarit led to the Axis forces being kicked off the continent. Hear unpublished material from veterans' memoirs. Wadi Akarit - WW2's own Charge of the Light Brigade!

Major Petch, Bill Cheall's company commander at Dunkirk Capt Tom Woods of Lady of Mann - WW2 WWII war dunkirk ships Sgt BJ Moss 1943  - enthralling war memoir Wilf Shaw 6 Green Howards, WW2 With two pals after Dunkirk - we had been through a hard time. Podcast 1939 - Sgt D E Gray - WW2 diary podcast

Bill Cheall was plucked off the Dunkirk beaches on 31 May 1940 by the ship Lady of Mann, which had a heroic part to play at Dunkirk. The ship was captained by civilian seaman, Tom Woods, who would later be honoured with an OBE for his gallant efforts.

Doug Gray was there on D-Day and beyond. He wrote his diary and fascinating it is too. He even wrote a diary entry on the day he won his military medal, before he knew he'd won it.


This WW2 diary has been supplied by Doug’s family. The entries start just before D-Day and finish several weeks after, so it’s quite a rare historical record because soldiers were forbidden to keep diaries in case they got captured. Doug's diary tells a really excellent WW2 story with drama, tragedy and humour. Great unpublished history.

A privileged opportunity to hear 96 year old Flight Sergeant Claude Reynolds' WW2 memories, sometimes frightening, often fascinating.

Claude had the unenviable role of being rear gunner in a Lancaster during the 2nd world war and flew many sorties all over Europe. And he experienced no end of scary moments during his time as a member of 49 Squadron in the much-regaled No 5 Group Bomber Command. So he’s got plenty of stories to tell.

4 -  Coffee with WW2 Veteran Wilf Shaw

1 - Dunkirk WW2 - Veteran Bill Cheall's story of the beaches

2 - Wadi Akarit, North Africa WW2 - Gripping veterans' accounts

5 - Coffee with WW2 Lancaster veteran Claude Reynolds

6-8 - The D-Day Diary of CSM D E Gray MM

3 - D-Day WW2 - Two veterans' accounts

9  - The Dunkirk Diary of Major Petch OBE

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Young Claude ww2 lancaster veteran podcast

10 - The Dunkirk Diary of Captain Tom Woods OBE

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Buy Bill Cheall's published memoirs, which depict his WW2 story. The podcast episodes cover the stories behind the story - memories of comrades and other people connected to Bill's adventures. Click for more information.

In wartime ordinary men and women are asked to do extraordinary things. This is a WW2 podcast of story of the part some Isle of Wight British merchant sailors played in rescuing allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk – in Operation Dynamo. From a gripping original memoir written by ship's engineer, Fred Reynard.

11- The Bee - A Dunkirk little ship story

Buy Bill Cheall's published memoirs, which depict his WW2 story. The podcast episodes, above, cover the stories behind his story - memories of comrades and other people connected to Bill's adventures. Link for more information.

File 03-03-2017, 20 55 34 Fighting Through war book WW2 podcast. Fighting Through war book WW2 podcast.

Shownotes pending

Shownotes pending

12 - More Coffee with Flight Sergeant  Claude Reynolds - WW2 Lancaster Rear Gunner

A privileged opportunity to hear 95 year old Flight Sergeant Claude Reynolds' WW2 memories, sometimes frightening, often fascinating, frequently funny! Two episodes:        5 - Coffee and 12 - More Coffee!

Claude in contemplation during podcast interview 2016

13 Danger - Unexpoloded Bomb!

The story of one man’s brave war against unexploded bombs in wartime London, during the 1940 Blitz:

Brian Moss, Platoon Sergeant in 233 Field Company, Royal Engineers.

Sgt BJ Moss Bomb Demolition expert WW2, war diary

14 The Last Flight of Lancaster Lily Mars

The story of Lancaster bomber LL678 together with its courageous crew, including my Dad’s best pal, Don Savage, during WW2 in 1944.

Lanc from forum

15 The Poems of Sapper John Smith, WWII

John proudly displaying his medals 1981 Armistice Day

In April 1940 John went to France with the British Expeditionary Force as a sapper in the Royal Engineers.  He took his weapons of choice with him - gun, pencil and paper!

Poignant poetry of loyalty and comradeship, crafted during the London Blitz bombing!

The brutal memoir of World War 1 (WWI) battle of Gallipoli, written by Sergeant Fred Reynard of the Isle of Wight Rifles. Landing at Suvla Bay, August 1915. Don't listen, it's awful!

16/17 - Gallipoli WW1 - Sgt Fred Reynard Pt 1 and Pt 2

Fred Reynard - Hero of Gallipoli and Dunkirk, WW1 podcast

Revisit the first five years' favourites from episodes 1-17.

The best, the bloopers, the funniest and scariest moments, plus loads of new material.

The beaches of Dunkirk revisited

Tales of North Africa and Monty’s 8th army desert rats

Interviews with army and airforce veterans, such as soldier Wilf Shaw who has been awarded France’s Legion D’Honneur, Claude Reynolds who was rear gunner in a Lancaster.

Dunkirk deliverance – accounts from a soldier, major, big ship, little ship

Much more – including new tales never before heard anywhere

Best of 5 years - International Podcast Day special

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