‘Rookie’ was the signature used by cartoonist/caricaturist Ronald Rooke (1915-1990) and the name by which he was universally known to family and friends. He left a memoir of his wartime experiences which Duncan, his son, has edited for the wider public he felt it deserved.
The memoir is one man’s unconventional, eye-witness account of the Second World War and the experiences which made a lasting impression on his life.
It is a frank, fast-moving, ‘no frills’ story which takes the lid off real life in the British wartime army. It is written with the values, attitudes and vocabulary of its generation and without today's political correctness.
The memoir begins shortly before the official declaration of war and takes the reader through pre-war tensions and anxieties to conscription, initial drill and regimentation and officer training. The story continues with the preparations for the invasion of Normandy, D-Day itself, the Battle of Normandy and the allied push through northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands to Germany.
“This, though, is not the usual war history,” says Duncan Rooke. “It is highly differentiated from other accounts by its lack of heroics, its candour and the pervading smell of war that comes through the pages. It also bears the imprint of a now-lost generation.”
My Dad’s Army will appeal to readers with an interest in the Second World War, as well as those with a general interest in military history.