“A very fresh account of one man’s wartime experience; this is exactly the kind of history I like the best” - Louis de Bernières
When Richard Wicker stepped off the plane bringing him home after nearly five years in captivity, he could find no words to describe what he had been through. Like many veterans, he would never mention the war again. Instead, he wrote in secret. Discovered only last year by his family, We Happy Few
represents one man’s attempt to wrest back meaning from the period that should have been the prime of his life. The result is an extraordinary and unsentimental account, of camaraderie against futility, of hunger and loss, and shoring up the values he could not let war destroy.
Combining memoir, letters home and entries from his war logbook, this is the story of one man’s war: from the innocence of pre-war romances; torn from hard-working family life in the Sussex countryside; to near-fatal night-time operations over Germany. The account ends in May 1945 with a soaring, heart-rending account of Wicker’s return journey across the Channel, writing minute-by-minute as “dear old Blighty” hove into view.
With an introduction by the author’s daughter and postscript by his journalist grandson — the book’s editor — We Happy Few
embodies a conversation never voiced, a timely expression of how we are shaped in unexpected ways by the stories we inherit.