Forgotten heroes of World War Two
By Tony Matthews
Published by BIG SKY PUBLISHING
RRP $29.99 in paperback
Tony Matthews is a Queensland author who has dedicated almost his entire adult life to writing and researching Australian history. He also writes extensively on military and espionage history with a specific emphasis on both world wars. He is the author of more than thirty books including several historical novels.
He was prompted to write this book after a chance discovery of an old book in a charity store. The book, published in London in 1943, contained stories of great heroism, stories he had not previously heard, despite his deep knowledge of military history.
Thus the germ of an idea that eventually became his latest book, ‘Quiet Courage’. The heroic stories are now brought to the page for a new generation of readers.
Featured among the stories is that of a courageous farmer and his family who remained on their small Kentish holding to defy Hitler by continuing to produce urgently needed food for Britain’s war effort, despite constant bombardment.
Intriguing too is the story of the ‘Killer Trawler’, a little ship never designed to be a U-boat killer. However, when pushed, the Lady Shirley is not only ready to take on one of Hitler’s deadliest weapons, it is also to provide the Allies with one of the most important naval intelligence coups of the war.
And the heroes of the infamous Cowra breakout of Japanese prisoners of war? Two privates, whose task was to man the Vickers gun, have the presence of mind to disable the weapon before being overrun by Japanese prisoners determined to get hold of the gun and turn it on their Australian captors.
These and the many other fascinating stories in this book remind us all of the fortitude, the determination and the self-sacrifice of the forgotten heroes of World War II.