Fighting Through Podcast WW2 Dunkirk and D-Day WWII 8 Margaret Jones 1940 cropped monolow res

The stories behind the story

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Feedback - Many thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to rate or review the show.

Hi thank you. It is amazing and something for the family to treasure

Kind regards

Kathy and Stan


John Dady

Just wanted to say that the Captain Perry interview is brilliant, just about one of the best things I’ve heard. He sounds just like my uncles talking about the war, making light out of a horrific situation.


Please tell Stan Perry that he really is a wise, humble and amazing man. It would be so amazing to meet him, though I don't think that will happen. But I hope he will live a few more happy and healthy years! Johanna, Sweden


Nicola, Stan Perry's granddaughter.

I just finished listening to the two episodes of your podcast featuring your interview of him. They were absolutely wonderful. What an amazing memory they will make to pass down the generations.

I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing. I think it's incredible. I'm hooked and will be working my way through the other episodes.

Keep up the good work and take care.



iTunes by Xj264 from USA on September 26, 2018

Love the show please keep it going anyone looking to get an inside look to the ground pounders life give this a listen my favorite episode was Gallipoli absolutely incredible from start to finish thanks so much Bill James B USA


Enveloping in iTunes by Markwitica from UK on September 22, 2018

Excellent podcast, I’ve been steadily listening to the podcast over the last month and have been enveloped by the stories.


Love it

in iTunes by Blizzard061507 from USA on September 9, 2018

I love this podcast It is the best I ever listened to and I have so many of your episodes and I love history. Keep doing what your doing.


Danny Fontenot Facebook

Listened to parts 1 and 2 yesterday and am planning a repeat of both today!  This one is for the ages - absolute classic!! Paul, Thank You So Much for capturing Captain Perry's military service recollections!!



Tom Benjamin

Hi Paul,

I hope you dont mind my message. I just wanted to say I have just come across your podcast and I must say it is the most incredible and interesting podcast I have listened to. I am only a few episodes in but I loved hearing the stories of Wilf Shaw and after a small amount of research it brought a tear to my eye to find that this incredible, humble and brave hero had passed away. I am 28 years of age and the world I am able to live in and the life I can be able to live today is only possible because of the bravery and heroics of people like wilf and your father. I love listening to all of these stories and memoirs and will continue to pass down these stories of how we are able to lead the lives we do to younger generations. Please keep up the good work, I cant wait to listen to the next podcast.

Regards, Tom



Dot McQuillen 10 Aug 2018, Email

Hi Paul, I hope you dont mind me contacting you, but I came across your WW2 podcasts on youtube.  Up to recently I hadnt heard of Bray Dunes but just recently found out my uncle, Frederick Gardiner, who died 28 May 1940 was killed on the road at Moeres just outside Bray Dunes when a group of Junkers bombed their company.  They were holding a bridgehead on the road just outside Bray Dunes to keep the Germans off while the BEF escaped to the beach.  He was part of a small Company - company C 8th Battalion Kings Own, commanded by a Captain J H Everett,  and 40 men were killed in the air raid and the wounded couldnt be recovered because of the fighting.  They were buried in a mass grave at Bray Dunes and then after the war they were exhumed and 17 of them buried in Adinkerke cemetery.  My uncle was one of the 17.  

Dorothy McQuillen.


Johanna Ljung -Email

8 Aug 2018

Hi Paul.

I recently found your WW2 podcast on Spotify and it is now what I listen to at work. I am a 23 year old, Swedish welder and sit between 7am and 4pm just amazed by the stories you tell.

Both my soon-to-be husband and I are military fanatics and even though we don't have anyone close by that have their own stories to tell I am so grateful for you sharing so many untold stories and aspects that no one talks about.

My grandparents, born in 1933 and 1937, never want to talk about what their experience was during the war. And even if Sweden wasn't active like other countries some stuff happened here too.

Sadly my grandfather passed away last Christmas and I now only have my grandmother left, I hope I can get her to talk at least a bit about it.

Anyways, just wanted to tell you that I love your podcasts and it really helps me getting through the day and I hope to get more episodes soon!


Clare Palmer, England, email

What a lovely archive of WW2 memoirs for future generations to learn about people's experiences. Very well presented.


Excellent and enjoyable

in Apple Podcasts by Mr Mark N4CC from USA on April 2, 2018

Every episode is exceptional. The interviews are excellent but I think the readings are even better, Paul captures the essence of every subject and situation. Mark


A uniquely brilliant living history series

in Apple Podcasts by SergeiDiGriz from UK

What a moving experience it has been listening to the awe inspiring Fighting Through WW2  podcasts. Hearing the individual witness accounts of familiar, and not so familiar, events from the two World Wars has made the history real to me in a new way. My uncle served on the Destroyer HMS Walker, and my wife’s grandfather was a Lancaster pilot during WW2; your podcasts have allowed us to connect with their world in a new way; living history. The community aspect to your work is particularly moving and impressive. I’ve shed a few tears listening to some of the accounts from your dad’s memoirs and others. Many thanks and please keep them coming!


THANK YOU SERGEI! Fantastic how the show has impacted - especially regarding the Lancaster pilot - how good is that! Paul


Bill Burnett - YouTube – re Coffee with Wilf

Thanks for a wonderful piece of oral history - it's so important that such things are recorded and preserved for future generations.


I’ve never been chilled to the bone so often - in iTunes by jonnym57, UK, Mar15, 2018

I’ve only just discovered podcasts, where have I been? I have always been fascinated by ww2 and this series of podcasts has been amazing. I’ve never been chilled to the bone so often, the stories are so thrilling and your Dad’s exploits have me hooked. I often listen while driving my truck and it makes the miles fly past .Thank you and keep up the good work.


Excellent and enjoyable -  in iTunes by Mr Mark N4CC from USA on April 2, 2018

Every episode is exceptional. The interviews are excellent but I think the readings are even better, Paul captures the essence of every subject and situation. Mark


Love your WWII memoirs podcast Paul

in Apple Podcasts by WW2 podcast buff from USA on January 21, 2018

Paul, Wanted to let you know that i love your podcast. Great way you have woven together the diaries of many individuals, not just your dad's memoirs. All are entertaining and informative. I really enjoy the way you present the readings, great podcast voice and tempo. Interesting perspectives and topics. I very much appreciate what you are doing to bring this history back to life, and of course what all of those did not just to live the events, but to take the time and effort to document them. Only constructive feedback is to bring down the mix volume when you add the tunes in, the volume changes are distracting. Thanks again Paul for the great work. Blaine - Oregon, USA [Thanks Blaine - really appreciated - and totally hear what you're saying - hang on I just gotta turn the radio down - about the volumes etc! I hope I'm recently improved on this and will be doubly sure to keep an ear on this issue always - I know from my own experience as a listener what a pain it can be if the sound levels are uneven - Paul]


Jack Bonham, email

Hi Paul - I've just listened to some of your podcasts from Fighting Through, and I found them absorbing and illuminating. A big difference to 'official' histories. I will buy your dad's book. All the Best, Jack


Nick Ryder

Hi, I just wanted to send you a quick message that I'm really enjoying the podcasts and I think it's great that you've created this resource for others to experience. Keep up the good work!


From Brian Willett, Facebook 22/2/18

Hi Paul, discovered your podcast last week and enjoyed the first few episodes. Like your Dad my father served in the Western Desert as well from beginning to end of the campaign, my Dad was with the Royal Corps of Signals and at some time was attached th the 51st Highland Div. Brian


Love to listen to your pod casts !

Terry Leppke, Facebook 22/2/18


Pretty awesome

in Apple Podcasts by Ogdens from Ireland on February 11, 2018




in Apple Podcasts by Burnsbe3 from USA on February 3, 2018

A deeply compassionate podcast. Wonderful stories, lovely narrator.


A winner

in Apple Podcasts by Sultanofswat30 from USA on January 4, 2018

Like history podcasts? You’ll love the 1st-hand historical accounts of this WWII podcast. Really appreciate hearing about the war from the British perspective. And as Anglo-obsessed American, I enjoy the British accents too.



iTunes by MauaLuGa from USA on December 22, 2017

I listen to this podcast everyday at work. The way you tell their amazing stories leaves me wanting more! Keep up the good work!


Great Podcast.

in iTunes by Nicolas richo from UK on November 22, 2017

A great personal perspective and leaves me in awe of what it must have been like for these gents. I hope to visit the Normandy beaches next summer or year after that, I’m amazed at these men.


Perfect WW2 ear fodder

in iTunes by Jon102838473 from UK on January 4, 2018

It’s midnight, can’t sleep & this came up on a search on iTunes. Could be a long night I fear as I’m hooked from the first few minutes. I’ve always been incredibly interested in the personal stories of WW2 so this is ideal. Beautifully basic and without unnecessary gumf that other podcasts succumb to, Paul you now have a new fan! If you’re ever in the Westcountry, get in touch, I volunteer at Upottery & Dunkeswell Airfields and would gladly offer a days touring around our museums and aerodromes! Some incredible WW2 history there :-) (Jon)


Paul, we love you! - xo, Elsie


Hi Paul - Your work is stunning. Thank you so much for this.

Kind regards

Mike Smith


Hi Paul - I finished your Dad's book last night. I can't say it was enjoyable because reading about what really happened to the normal everyday soldiers on the ground and all that death and destruction is not an enjoyable thing, unlike the normal glorification of all that took place in the 2 world wars. It was compelling and it was a story that told the truth about how life was. Our society today is so transfixed on political correctness and how there need to be quotas for this and that so minorities are treated fairly, that we have forgotten the sacrifices made by Bill and millions of other ordinary people, so ours and future generations could live free and happy lives. Its a great account of the trials and tribulations of war. Steve B


Re Ep 13 - Scott Abramczyk, via Libsyn

West Milwaukee High School

Wow, just wow, that was an amazing story. I would love to shake that guys hand. Thanks for sharing.


Love to listen to your podcasts

Terry Leppke – Facebook 10/2/18


Faye Pineda on Facebook

I’ve been listening to your podcast for a few months now and I absolutely love it. It is so exciting and humbling to listen to the stories of such brave souls. I can’t get enough of Wilf Shaw. He's always got a joke.


Tristan - I have to say I've enjoyed the hell out of your show thus far. Really riveting stuff! I was raised on the island of Portland, and many of the guys who left for France on D-day left from nearby Weymouth and the naval base there!

I get chills thinking about those young men who had the guts to get up in a firefight and give it right back to Jerry.

My family emigrated to Australia in 1989. It's a shame as I would loved to have had access to some of the WW2 sites as my interest and appreciation grew! My great grandfather was one of the last men to be evacuated from Dunkirk!!

Keep up the great work Tristan James, Australia via Facebook


Hi, I just wanted to send you a quick message that I'm really enjoying the podcasts and I think it's great that you've created this resource for others to experience. Keep up the good work!

Nick Ryder, Facebook message


Email: Hi Paul,

Can I firstly say how much I have enjoyed your podcasts, I have listened to all of them at least once, I’ve even bought the book!

Best regards, Jonathan H


Re the Bee Dunkirk little ship

Dear Paul, For various personal reasons I had put the memoir aside to read when circumstances were such that I concentrate on it.

I think you have done a brilliant job in presenting Fred Reynard's story. I cannot but wish that I had had the confidence and foresight to record the story of the Bee from him and Bill. I remember Fred so well in his blue overalls. He passed my house on his way to and from the quay and he always acknowledged we scruffy lads playing in the street. The engine room was very much his territory and one only went there by invitation. Nevertheless, he occasionally proudly showed us round. He was aware that being engineer gave him some status, he had his tea in the engine room or with my uncle in the wheelhouse, not with the crew in the forepeak cabin.

A momentous story, well told. I am so pleased that it has been so well recorded. Best wishes, Mike


Michael Nibbi - Facebook

I just finished listening to this. Amazing and heartwarming. I am listening to this on podcast addict and podbean. I love hearing these memoirs. Since both my grandfather's served during ww2. One in the pacific the other in Europe. I never got to hear their stories. My maternal grandfather passed a year ago in November. Thank you


Really enjoying your podcasts – Facebook 20/9/17

Always left with a deep sense of respect for all those brave souls

Eamon Walsh, West of Ireland


Tom Gospel email 30 Jan at 20:23

Hello Paul, I wanted to let you know that you have an outstanding podcast and I thoroughly enjoy every episode that comes out. I must admit that I have re-listened to many episodes multiple times as I eagerly await the next episode!


Amazing perspective

In iTunes by kevinkUSA from USA on October 17, 2017

This is my fourth time listening thru! Every time is better than the first. This is a great series giving the REAL perspective. I hope the episodes never stop coming. Great job!



in Apple Podcasts by John Geneva from Switzerland on July 15, 2017

Great content, presented very well


Moving tribute

in Apple Podcasts by Bluebell.Woods66 from UK on March 3, 2017

A wonderful podcast, highly informative, fascinating and emotional. Many thanks to Paul for recording these stories for posterity


D-day diary

in Apple Podcasts by Sparky sailor from Canada on February 2, 2017

Just started episode 6 and can't wait to finish all the rest of the podcasts Great stories of real Heroes I look forward to reading your fathers book Cheers from CANADA



in iTunes by Shimi_Lovat from UK on October 9, 2017

Excellent podcast. No thrills, just jam packed with brilliant content. At times very stirring.


One of my favorites

in iTunes by witty names from USA on October 8, 2017

I was driving across Montana and stopped to download a few new podcasts. I downloaded an episode of the show to try it out. When the episode I downloaded about the bee was done I raced the 2 hours drive to the next town so I could get an internet connection and download the rest of the show. Ever since then I have looked forward to new episodes.


Absolutely fantastic

in iTunes by ben thomas 79 from UK on September 24, 2017

This podcast is absolutely brilliant. Some of the most poignant, heartstopping and thrilling World War 2 stories I've ever heard. A candid portrayal by some really humble hero veterans. Excellently narrated by one such veterans son. It gives a priceless insight into a generation that we're sadly losing to time. Reminds me of many of the old fellas, (my grandad included) that I knew as a child. Thanks for all your hard work Paul. Keep it up



in iTunes by Redfrostie from UK on September 22, 2017

Just brilliant and sad and shocking,and has left me wanting to know more. I'm so pleased someone is telling the stories of these heroes , may we never forget them and those who's stories will never be told. God bless them all.


"Excellent podcast. I started listening last week and I cannot wait for new ones to come out. So far, every single podcast has read like battle narrative, filled with history. First-hand, small-unit accounts of individual struggles as well as the bigger battle around them. Very interesting and well done. Five stars!"  Sturmcat USA, iTunes


Wow Paul - My granddaughter and I listened to your WW2 podcast and it was absolutely fantastic. I have never heard anyone read Dad's poems and you were just brilliant. Certainly made my eyes well up.  Dad would be proud of what you had written and spoken about him.  Just brilliant Paul. Thank you so much. Rita, Email


Hello Paul, I'm just writing to tell you how much I've enjoyed listening to Fighting Through. I'm a blind person. You brought the diaries to life and I really hope you do more than 13 podcasts. I hope your dad's book will be on Audible and it would be great if you were reading it. I live in England. I downloaded your podcasts on a device called a Victor Reader stream – it’s a device for blind people. Best wishes, Si Watson


Absolutely Brilliant

in iTunes by Chuk Norris Fan from Australia on September 6, 2017

I love history podcasts and this is one of the best I've ever heard. They are a nice length and it's all well presented material. The episode on Gallipoli was one of the most interesting & certainly brought history to life. Well done Paul!


Dear Paul, I wanted to write to say thank you to your father and his comrades who fought in the War.  I found the podcast on iTunes and it is stunning. I am listening to it now with tears in my eyes …   Thank you, Victoria P - Brisbane,  Australia.


What a lovely story

it brought back memories of my Dad as he was in the BEF and was rescued from Dunkirk. He was in the Royal Engineers and later joined the Dunkirk Veterans, which sadly disbanded due to few still alive. My Dad wrote a few poems which I treasure. If you would like to have a copy I would gladly send to you. Yours Rita Cooper


I have been enjoying your podcast and have looked into buying the book. I can't find it in Audible or audio format. The type of work I do, I listen to books and podcasts most of my work day while I perform other duties.  Is there an audio format? Is one in process?

May I suggest that you record the book in Audible if you don't have this in process at this time. I don't know how it's done, but I've listened to a book recently where the author recorded the book himself and published it on Audible. Regards, Abby Wheeler


Name: James Williams via UK Podcasters Email:

“I want to express my thanks to you for your story telling style and for the pride you so obviously hold for not only your father, but all these incredible men that made us all free today. God bless you and all our heroes alive and past. These stories are true tear making experiences. I love all our allies of WW2. Paul, your podcast & once again your style of story telling is one of a kind.

You have a way unlike other history podcasts. Thank you again.


Excellent stuff, it's amazing to hear first-hand stories. And being from Norfolk myself, as Claude is, I was even more interested in his story.

Sid White, Facebook, 12/4/17


FROM: Sue Bristow 2017 (Re Episode 10)

Just listened to this and it's made me cry. It was great to hear an account of someone rescued by grandad and to hear his letters read aloud. Reinforces what a brave man he was, and all the others who took part in the rescue


FROM: Cathy Fargher A proud episode in the history of the IOMSP Co, all due respect for the Captain and his crew  


FROM: Christine Harrison How emotional to hear this account. It felt like granddad was reading those letters. It really brought this historic time to life with granddad really in the thick of it. What an honourable man he was and all his civilian colleagues


FROM Sarah Parry 2017 (GGD of Capt Tom Woods, Episode 10)

I have been quite moved myself by everyone's response, especially my Uncle James' reaction -  he knew Tom well so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Without wanting to sound too sentimental you should be very proud of your work. What is so moving for me is to hear your father's account, the account of someone whose life was saved that day. There are so many of us who wouldn't be here had events taken a different course at numerous points in the war.


FROM Michael Wills 2017

Absolutely brilliant. You narrate so well and really bring the situations to life.


FROM Your name: John Spagnolo, Email

Note of appreciation

Left a comment on iTunes but have to tell how much I appreciated the podcasts.    My eyes are quite poor so I don't read but you have read the stories of your father and his fellow soldiers wonderfully well.     Thank you very much.    My father was in the war as well (American) and I wish I had recounts of the events of that day from his eyes and ears.     Well done...


FROM: Andy Lenton. Dear Paul,

For some time now I've wanted to let you know just how much I have enjoyed listening to your excellent podcasts. The stuff about your dad and his comrades and contemporaries has really made me think of how would I have coped being put in the life and death situations he went through..... you have helped me to realise just what a huge debt of gratitude we all owe to your dad's generation..... just ordinary people doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times.


You, Paul, have a rare talent for broadcasting, being able to draw the listener in as if he was invited to pull up a chair and share in a conversation among old friends. So please don't stop bringing us the incredible stories you come across from time to time will you?  I'm sure that, like me, your many other listeners  look forward in anticipation to seeing that little notification icon that shows that you have added a new podcast.  I'm grateful Paul for all your skill, hard work and dedication in bringing the experiences of our Greatest Generation to us. I for one really appreciate it.  Thank you so very much. Kindest regards to you and your family.

Andy Lenton.  (Former Police officer, now layabout, retired much too soon due to work injury!) Fantastic!


FROM: MnWreckingCrew

I really enjoy this podcast! I've been studying WW II history since I was very young, especially since my Dad fought in the Royal Navy. I find this very enlightening and informative. You will too!

Excellent, Interesting!


FROM: Sturmcat

Excellent podcast. I started listening last week and I cannot wait for new ones to come out. So far, every single podcast has read like battle narrative, filled with history, first-hand, small-unit accounts of individual struggles as well as the bigger battle around them. Very interesting and well done. Five stars!


FROM: Ompalompa88

I think that of you want to listen to real war story's than you should listen to this, I'm only ten and I recommend this group of podcasts!


Excellent! - in iTunes by Ranger1895 from USA on November 12, 2015

These are wonderful podcasts. It doesn't get much better than this. Thank you!


Excellent stuff - in iTunes by iggythedog from UK on November 14, 2013

First hand description of a day that must never be forgotten, simply told and well read.


Farmer - in iTunes by Crazy beasty dude from USA on October 26, 2013

I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fighting through - in iTunes by emweb from New Zealand on May 19, 2013

It's always good to read such a personal account – makes the whole thing seem so much more real. Great stuff.


Pretty good history - in iTunes by Norfolk_dave from UK on May 4, 2013

Very interesting, Looking forward to the following pod casts.


FROM: Victoria Porritt Email:

Dear Paul wanted to write to say thank you to your father and his comrades who fought in the War.  I found the podcast on iTunes and it is stunning. I am listening to it now with tears in my eyes.  Your father’s story has brought history alive and your reading of his diaries is a wonderful tribute to him.  The young boys were so brave. Thank you

Victoria - Brisbane, QLD, Australia.


Dear Paul,

I have listened to a couple of the Fighting Through podcasts now, and I have to say that I enjoy them very much; if enjoy is the right word, that is, as they are sometimes harrowing. Although I have no direct link to WW2 myself, it's a subject that has long interested me, and I find your reading of your father's war diaries very moving and sincere. There are lots of podcasts out there that relate to historical events in one way or another, but it is rare to find one like yours that recounts the everyday experiences of the common man caught up in the events of that time. I intend to buy the book, but would like to hear more of the podcasts first, in order to fully whet my appetite for reading it myself. Best wishes and keep up the great work, Kevin Foster


Subject: Dunkirk

Hi, I just wanted to say I listened to the Dunkirk podcast the other week and it was absolutely fantastic. We're going to visit some relatives in Belgium in June and will be going via the tunnel, so I'm hoping to influence the driver to stop at Dunkirk and pay some respects. The podcast brought Dynamo to life - thank you. markparry



Comment of the month:

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Re Capt Stan Perry - Epsiode 36

I'm Nicola, Stan Perry's granddaughter. I just finished listening to the two episodes of your podcast featuring your interview of him. They were absolutely wonderful. What an amazing memory they will make to pass down the generations.

I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing. I think it's incredible. I'm hooked and will be working my way through the other episodes.