Eric’s tribute to Somme survivor father
WARWICK writer Eric Wightman has just finished his latest book, Surviving After The Somme, in pefect time for Armistice Day on Sunday.
The 85-year-old former engineer, who turned to writing on his retirement, pays tribute to his late father, also called Eric, who was injured on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1915, but who lived on until 1984.
Mr Wightman, of Ward Grove, Warwick, said: “My father was a staff sergeant with the 77th Royal Horse Artillery. He was sent to the front line as an artificer but his field gun received an almost direct hit, knocking him unconscious.
“He told me how he was prevented from fainting by his commanding officer swearing and bellowing for him to keep that gun working. It meant by the time a Red Cross lorry arrived to pick up the injured there was no room for him.
“He watched that lorry reach the end of the road before it too received a direct hit, killing all the occupants. Eventually Dad was invalided out of the army but the shrapnel he received that day stayed in his back for the rest of his long, eventful life.”
· Surviving After The Somme costs £9.99 and is available from Warwick Books in Market Place.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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