In this unique autobiographical account Alec Waldron tells how he rebelled against his strict religious upbringing and the uncompromising pacifism of his parents to become a military glider pilot in World War II.
Born in Portsmouth on the South Coast of England, Alec was raised as a member of the exclusive Plymouth Brethren, a separatist religious sect who shunned contact with the rest of society and were committed pacifists. As the war clouds gathered over Europe in the 1930s, Alec found himself increasingly at odds with his parents beliefs and at the outbreak of war in 1939 he made the difficult decision to defy them and the elders of the sect and volunteered for military service, in the full knowledge that this would mean that his parents would disown him.
Alec went on to become one of the first entry of cadet pilots to join the Glider Pilot Regiment and to participate in the airborne assaults at Sicily in July 1943 (Operation Ladbroke) and Arnhem (Operation Market-Garden) in September 1944, both disastrous military failures from the Allied point of view, which Alec was fortunate enough to survive. He was later heavily involved in the planning for Operation Varsity, the Rhine crossing in 1944, which once again involved the extensive use of gliders but this time with a successful outcome.
Alec's colourful account of his unusual upbringing and remarkable wartime experiences makes for fascinating reading that will be of particular interest to military historians and glider enthusiasts. The book is illustrated with a number of excellent photographs from the author's personal collection.