General Sir Robert Pascoe, KCB, MBE,
Late of the Royal Green Jackets
Everyone of a certain age must have heard something about the Cockleshell Heroes of World War II, even if only as a result of seeing the film of that name. A dozen brave and determined men paddled flimsy canoes into enemy occupied France to carry out a costly but successful raid against German shipping and registered a British success at a time when there was not much to raise our morale.
There are not many people today however who would think of following in the wake of those men and even fewer people would prove able to carry such an enterprise through to a successful conclusion.
Roger and Sandra Downton did just that and this book is a readable account of the planning and execution of their expedition while, at the same time, refreshing our memories about the wartime operation.
Roger served in the 1st Battalion of The Royal Green Jackets when I was its Commanding Officer in the early 1970’s and he and Sandra are active in various of our Regimental reunions.
I enjoyed reading their no frills narrative which carries the reader along at a good pace and creates the desire to find out what happened next. They have set down an interesting record of their enterprising, testing and rewarding journey following the paddle strokes of those real Cockleshell Heroes.
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