William Earl, 101, spoke in front of more than 140 people, including old friends who had travelled from Germany, at the launch of Blood and Bandages, which tells his experience of serving in the field ambulance during the Second World War.
Liz Coward, the book’s co-author, said William had made a ‘tremendous effort’ to be there, having just recovered from hip-replacement surgery.
“He was absolutely amazing,” she said.
“He really has a backbone of steel.”
The answers he gave to questions from the audience, which was a ‘highlight of the evening’ for many attendees, were ‘so honest and original’, she said.
“People were very moved.”
At the launch, held on Friday at the Shoreham Centre, actors Sandra Clark and Paul Moriarty performed a dramatic reading of key parts of the book.
Liz said Paul, who played William, ‘really brought it to life’.
“There were points at which he delivered it in such a way that it brought a tear to my eye,” she said, despite having written the script herself.
Liz is thrilled the book is now available to buy and said it ‘hadn’t quite sunk in yet’.
“At the end of the day, it’s not only William’s story, but the men of the entire Italian campaign – who have been sidelined,” she said.
The book, published by Sabrestorm, is available to order from Amazon here.
Read an extract from the book here
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