Stirling Bomber

Stirling Bomber
Stirling bomber

Monday, 30 January 2017

Reviews of MacRobert's Reply

I was so pleased to see this review on Amazon:

This is a great story and made me understand more about Lamsdorf POW camp and the Long March. My father in law was in that camp and only survived the long march because he was picked up by American soldiers and taken to hospital. Most of the prisoners never spoke about their ordeal and this book helps us understand a little more of how they survived. Thank you so much for writing this lovely story.

I have to say that researching and writing particularly the account of Lamsdorf and the Long March was both harrowing and humbling. Much is beyond belief.

This review, also on Amazon is candid about the book but so clearly highlights its importance.

I'd like to explain why I've given this little book (129 pages) such a high score. It's not written by a famous author, but put together with the aid of a specialist publishing company that helps people to create their biographical and family history work. It's not brilliantly copy-edited, but that doesn't matter.

Whatever interest in or knowledge of RAF Bomber Command in WW2 you may or may not have, you'll learn a lot from this book. I already knew the story of Lady MacRobert and the plane, the first of several to to bear the name 'MacRobert's reply.' One of the things this book does very well indeed is to fill in many more details of that story. Also, it's Philip Jeffs's story of his father, Don Jeffs, and how Don was the sole survivor of the crash that destroyed 'MacRobert's Reply' in 1942.

These personal stories of the WW2 are of vital significance in our understanding of the courage, dedication and all too often the suffering and sacrifice of ordinary people. Don't miss this one

Other reviews, again on Amazon:

A wonderful book & fantastic story combining the tragedy & loss of a courageous, brave young aircrew aboard a special aircraft with its own, unique tale - and the personal story of Donald Jeffs, the sole survivor of the fateful crash in May 1942.
The book gives a fascinating account of how the 'MacRoberts Reply' name came to fruition with XV Sqn - which even today is still recognised on the squadrons modern fighter jets - and the unimaginable scale of family loss for one individual and her story of generosity to aid the war effort on Hitler, and avenge her tragic losses.

An excellent, enjoyable and insightful read and highly recommended.

The story of the MacRobert family is one which has fascinated me for a long time. Lady MacRobert's response, or shall we say 'reply', to the loss of her three sons was the beginning of a long legacy and tradition which remains with XV Squadron to this very day.
This book recounts the sad loss endured by Lady MacRobert and the 'reply', moving on to descriptive accounts of the crews and missions undertaken by the Short Stirling bomber. There is also the sadness as the crash which took the lives of eight crew members is recounted, along with the courage of Donald Jeffs as he survived not only the crash, but imprisonment thereafter. It is a story of courage, bravery and endurance and is a most fitting tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for the freedom that we enjoy today.

A wonderful book & fantastic story combining the tragedy & loss of a courageous, brave young aircrew aboard a special aircraft with its own, unique tale - and the personal story of Donald Jeffs, the sole survivor of the fateful crash in May 1942.
The book gives a fascinating account of how the 'MacRoberts Reply' name came to fruition with XV Sqn - which even today is still recognised on the squadrons modern fighter jets - and the unimaginable scale of family loss for one individual and her story of generosity to aid the war effort on Hitler, and avenge her tragic losses.

An excellent, enjoyable and insightful read and highly recommended.

A fantastic story of one of the most iconic Bomber Command aircraft of WW2 and in particular the personal story of one Sergeant Donald Jeffs. I've had the pleasure of meeting Donald a couple of times at events, but to read his story and that of his fellow crew men is truly humbling.
If the RAF, Bomber Command and the Stirling are your 'thing' then this is a must buy, or maybe you just want a story of courage and 'survival against the odds' then it fits the bill.
Fantastic read... a must have

The book is available on Amazon. Just follow this link






Tuesday, 17 January 2017

MacRobert's Reply, the book, is now on sale

Writing MacRobert's Reply was a remarkable experience, talking to Don Jeffs and reading Phil Jeffs' own research, but then digging further into the accounts of many other people of their experiences of war.

My research has taken me deeper into the MacRobert family story and I am indebted to Marion Miller for her remarkable work, From Cawnpore to Cromar: The MacRoberts of Douneside. I have looked deeper into XV Squadron and am indebted to Martyn Ford-Jones for the books he wrote, in particular Bomber Squadron: The men who flew with XV. and the archive he maintains. I have explored the story of the Stirling bomber and Jonathan Falconer’s book Stirling Wings. Anyone exploring Bomber Command during the Second World War would be the poorer had they not read Bomber Boys: Fighting back 1940-45 by Patrick Bishop or Bomber Command by Max Hastings. The administrative staff of XV squadron maintained detailed records of operations and the National Archives have digitised these and made them available. I am grateful to both but also specifically to the National Archive for the records of Lady MacRobert’s correspondence with the Air Ministry on which I have drawn extensively. Finally, I say thank you to the Imperial War Museum for making recordings of the recollections of veterans and to the veterans themselves for telling their stories.

My generation has been truly blessed not to have been confronted by such horrors.

We can though be proud of what our parents' generation did; we can also warn our children's generation of what war actually means.

The story of MacRobert's Reply is remarkable in so many ways. I do hope that your find reading it as rewarding as I did writing it.

The book is now available to buy on Amazon. You can find it by following this link .