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Private Bill in Love and War – a review

Barbara Hughes, one of our super energetic Committee Members has just finished reading Barrie Cassidy’s book ‘Private Bill In Love and War’ and provides a brief review:

Barrie Cassidy’s book ‘Private Bill In Love and War’ is a simple and affectionate account of his father’s experiences in World War Two, firstly in combat in Crete and then as a POW in Austria.  When Bill enlists and leaves his new wife Myra and young daughter Pam behind in Stanhope, he embarks on a journey that will see him in Crete when the Germans mount the only large-scale parachute invasion in military history. 

Cassidy’s evocative story-telling brings to life the death and destruction that follow the invasion.   Four days later Bill is wounded and eventually captured.  He endures horrendous train journeys to the POW camps in Austria, followed by four years of deprivation at the hands of the Germans.

But Bill isn’t the only one affected by the war.  When his wife, Myra, reveals a secret she has kept for 50 years, the loneliness, fear and loss felt by those left behind is finally revealed. Cassidy relates Bill and Myra’s story in a book that is well written and extremely readable. 

Barrie will be in conversation at the Willy Lit Fest with Prof. Rob Pascoe, Dean Laureate and Professor of History from Victoria University on Saturday 13 June, 3.30pm – 4.30pm.

Tickets $25, concession $22.

Barrie Cassidy willy lit fest 2015