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John tells the true story about his dad, Bill's involvement in the Second World War. Bill grows up in the slums of Notting Hill, London and leaves school at fourteen. Despite his insecurities, while still in his late teens, he becomes a pilot of Lancaster bombers. He wants to belong to the 'establishment' but rebels against the powers-that-be when he realises they think he is expendable. Loss of life and planes is horrendous and to Bill's mind largely unnecessary. His attitude towards death in combat changes after he meets and marries John's mother to be, Alice. After the raid over Dresden in February 1945, he becomes angry at the cover-ups, corruption and myriad of lies. Authorities dispute claims that British planes carried out machine-gun attacks on the civilian population but Bill knows otherwise! Against all odds he survives the war but is dreadfully scarred emotionally. After serving his country he is penalised, dismissed without a commission or job. Even told he is unfit to fly! '...Prediction is difficult, especially about the future, but had I known then, what I know now, I would never have taken part in World War Two.'
- John Hickman, September 2012
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