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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Gerald’s War is the true-life World War II story of Nigel Davies-Williams’ uncle who was shot down over Corfu where he met Spiros Amerikanos, the man who befriended the Durrells, and Roald Dahl.

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Gerald’s War

Nigel Davies-Williams’ Gerald’s War is the fictionalised biography of his uncle, chronicling the highs and lows of his remarkable life, from tragic early years (including being deceived about his real parentage), to joining the RAF as a pilot officer with 211 Squadron and becoming one of ‘the Blenheim Boys’. Whilst also benefiting from a foreword by RAF enthusiast Sir David Jason, it is the unique wartime anecdotes this novel imparts that set it apart.

Gerald's War by Nigel Davies-Williams on The Table Read Magazine
Gerald’s War by Nigel Davies-Williams

Using his detective instincts to the full, having spent time as a police detective, and his fascination for genealogical research to inform his novel, Nigel Davies-Williams writing brims with wartime insights, squadron camaraderie and the risks involved whilst navigating death on a daily basis.

The eponymous hero of the book, Gerald Davies, had a difficult childhood. His mother suffered from epilepsy and is forced into an asylum by his father who has taken up with a woman half his age, and, unknown to Gerald, the person he knows as his aunt is his real mother.

To escape, in 1936 Gerald walked the short distance to the local RAF base and joins up, training to be a pilot observer before being attached to 211 Blenheim Bomber Squadron. He is sent to the Western Desert campaign and afterwards sees action in the Greco-Italian War whee he dices with death daily, and on one occasion famously goes missing for several days, having been shot down over the Ionian Sea.

While his family think he is dead, Gerald and crew are being wined and dined by the people of Corfu during which time he meets Spiro Amerikanos, who famously befriended Gerald Durrell and his family before the Second World War broke out in Europe. Later, Gerald is injured and taken to hospital in Alexandria where he meets Pilot Officer Roald Dahl, who has been injured in a crash flying his Gloster Gladiator.

Things get worse when Germany declares war on Greece on 6th April 1941. On Easter Sunday tragedy strikes, when all six Blenheim’s sent to tackle the German advance pouring into Greece are shot down.

This book is the true story based of the life and exploits of Nigel Davies-Williams’ uncle, containing images from the time together with an account of the author’s momentous trip to Corfu in 2020, when he was presented with the original compass from his uncle’s downed aeroplane. Having made many connections with the descendants of those his uncle met during his RAF days to aid his research, these conversations significantly add to the authenticity of this hugely entertaining, poignant and unforgettable read that will keep you reading to the bitter end.

Nigel Davies-Williams

I started off my career as a police officer, ending up as a police detective specialising in crime and drugs, before re-training to become a maths and science teacher, then I took a change of career again working in the National Health Service firstly as a drug and alcohol abuse specialist, then working at Board Level in Performance Management.

Through my various careers, I’ve always beavered away with my pen to get my experiences down on paper. My inner author has now had time to flourish with the advent of retirement and a detective instinct, coupled with a fascination for genealogical research brought to fruition ‘Gerald’s War.’ I longed to find out what happened to my uncle, Pilot Officer Gerald Davies, after he went missing over Greece in 1941 and years of research, begun in the 1980s, uncovered some startling facts, which I feel had led to a sensitively written and emotional story about his life and death.

Writing the book was a labour of love for me, as Gerald was my mother’s eldest brother, although neither or them knew this fact during their lifetimes.

-Nigel Davies-Williams

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