A Wartime Journey Revisited is the extraordinary blend of two accounts of the same journey, a generation removed. From father to son (and wife), the parallel accounts follow the same path seventy two years apart, both equally moving. It will appeal to history buffs, readers who love road-stories and those that enjoy a really good tale (or two!)
In 1943, a young Dutchman, Pieter Schagen, fled from the Nazis. Travelling in secret, he journeyed through Holland, Belgium, France and crossed the Pyrenees. After imprisonment in Spain, he finally reached Gibraltar, and from there travelled on to Britain, where he flew for the RAF. 54 years later, Piet wrote an account of his travels for the family, titling it An Odyssey through Occupied Europe in 1943. Both lively and quirky, and horrifying in parts, it gives a glimpse of the difficulties and dangers he encountered, and the kind people who helped him at their own risk.
In 2015, Piet’s son Ian fulfilled a long-standing desire to follow in his father’s footsteps. Accompanied by his wife Sandie, he traced his father’s route, aiming to find the places mentioned in Piet’s book and (if possible) descendants of those kind people who helped him. Ian and Sandie succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. The journey led them across five countries, to large cities and sprawling, remote farms. The book speaks of their excitement when they found places exactly matching Piet’s description, their occasional frustrations, and some truly inspiring and amazing triumphs.