A Chipping Norton author has published a novel based on the experiences of his great-uncle who served in RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War.
Lost in the Flames is by Christopher Jory and set to be released tomorrow (Saturday). It tells the story of great courage and betrayal, exposing the personal dilemmas and moral controversies that has existed round the crews and their families from the Second World War to the present day.
But it also draws on the experiences of Mr Jory’s great-uncle, Flying Officer John Ross, who signed up to the war effort before he was 18 and was killed on February 3 1945 when he aged just 21.
Mr Jory said: “It feels really good as it has been quite a long road to get the book published. It is for anyone who is interested in history and the Second World War but also a novel with a love story and family connections.
“I’d always heard about my great uncle but never knew anything about him, so started reading up about Bomber Command about ten to 15 years ago and got fascinated about it.”
More than 120,000 men served as Bomber Command aircrew, with their average age being only 22. They were all volunteers and of every 100 who flew, about half could expect to be killed in the air.
On some nights more men were lost than the whole of the Battle of Britain. When the war was over, more than 12,000 Bomber Command aircraft had been destroyed and 55,573 aircrew were dead.
Mr Jory will be in Lincolnshire to promote his new book tomorrow, where work is currently under way to build a Bomber Command memorial in the shape of a spire. It is set to be completed later this year.
He added: “The book is a love story about an average guy at the time who dreamt of being a pilot when he was a kid. He volunteers to join the RAF but questions whether he is going to survive and if he does, what is going to be left of him and the love of his life? But it also adds the whole moral issues as well.”
Lost in the Flames is available to buy at all good book retailers in paperback or available on Kindle.