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This compelling memoir starts with a boy's journey through the early years of the 1930s: days of the rag and bone man, street lamplighters, Hercule Poirot, and in the background, Hitler. Then life gets real: at school where cane and cricket bat rule and where the mustard sandwich fills a hungry corner, and even more real with army call-up and training. Then, in 1944–1945, comes the crunch of combat in Operation Overlord—a boy's growing-up time. And after all that, with his ears still ringing a bit, comes the blessed call of demob and a taste of new delights: days of farming and finding a woman daft enough to marry him before settling on a farm to start his life as a man. In this nostalgic book evoking recollections of childhood and wartime in Sussex, the memories are the author's, however the sights and events are those that will be remembered by many others, and readers will warm to the narrator, who has found the perfect balance of humor and sensitivity.

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