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Drovers Press Publications seascape paintings; bird paintings; landscapes in watercolour; pembrokeshire landscapes
Drovers Press specialises in small, local publications, particularly poetry, nature, art, history and cultural themes.
Drovers Press first title is Paintings and Poems, by Evelyn and Lyndon Pugh.
paintings and poems by evelyn and lyndon pughThe Lost Gunner - by Lyndon Pugh

F/Sgt. Billy Banks RAAF and his crew had been in action throughout the Battle of the Ruhr in the Spring and Summer of 1943. Their aircraft crashed off Zaandvoort in Holland, after an encounter with a Luftwaffe nightfighter, and six men died in the early hours of the 26th June 1943. One member of the crew, bomb aimer Geoff Brook, survived and served out the rest of the war in a German prison camp. The author was fortunate enough to talk to him in detail before his death.

The rear gunner on this aircraft was Sgt. Ronnie Pugh of Abercynon, Glamorgan. Occupying the most dangerous position on the Lancaster Bomber, he was the first casualty.

For many years, it was believed that the body of Ronnie Pugh had not been recovered, and he remains ‘Killed in Action, Lost at Sea’ as far as the official record is concerned. This proved not to be the case, and this book is the result of extensive research into what happened over Amsterdam on the night of the 25th/26 June 1943. It tells the story of the seven crewmen involved, giving some detail of their family backgrounds and their operational history. A separate chapter explores the role of gunners on WWII heavy bombers.

101 Squadron operations in 1943 are examined in some detail. The chapter on the Gelsenkirchen raid of the 25/26th June 1943 forms the centrepiece of the story. The circumstances which led to the crew flying on that raid after they had been stood down following operations to Krefeld, Mannheim and Wuppertal earlier in the week are examined. This led to the related story of one of the most interesting crews to serve in 101 Squadron during WWII. They were a unit which combined great bravery, skill and commitment with a dismissive attitude to authority and discipline which had unforeseen consequences for them and their comrades.

Bomb aimer Geoff Brook’s description of the last moments of Lancaster ED373 SR–K provides some of the details of the attack by the nightfighter and its aftermath, and contradicts the information provided in other sources. Geoff’s story continued with his activism as a POW, and several attempts to escape, leading to a short time spent at Belsen just before the end of the war.

The final element in the story is the search for the grave of Ronnie Pugh, and the facts concerning the recovery of the bodies. The crucial intervention of a Dutch aviation expert, who had already investigated the loss of this crew, led to confirmation of the author’s view that Ronnie Pugh was actually buried as an unknown RAF sergeant in the New Eastern Cemetery in Amsterdam. Jon van der Maas went even further, and pointed us to the grave. This brought the quest to an unexpected conclusion.

landscape watercolour of llanrhystud beach
clematis president botanical illustration
landscape in watercolour of snowdonia

Geoff Brook and Christian Slobbe

Sgt. Hazard
The Mystery Rear Gunner and the Grave

Chapter 1 - Seeking the Lost Gunner
Chapter 2 - The Crew
Chapter 3 - Gunners: One-Legged, One-Eyed and Other Varieties
Chapter 4 - Whitleys, Lancs and Leaflets
Chapter 5 - Gelsenkirchen
Chapter 6 - Karl-Heinz Scherfling
Chapter 7 - The Grave

A  limited number of copies are available from:
The Hours Bookshop, Ship Street, Brecon LD3 9AD
Tel: 01874 622 800  Web: www.the-hours.co.uk

Or from the publisher: droverspress@macwester43.plus.com

Price: £14.99 plus p&p.

paintings and poems by evelyn and lyndon pugh

Paintings & Poems
by Evelyn & Lyndon Pugh

In Paintings and Poems, Evelyn Pugh uses the medium of watercolour to express her love of nature. Now based in Brecon, Powys, she has also worked in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. The paintings are from original works, some of which can be viewed on this website.

Lyndon Pugh’s poems reflect his interest in Welsh culture, history and landscape, a sense of loss, village life, sailing and experiences while working in Eastern Europe. Economy and precision of language, and contrasts, are key features.

To purchase paperback at £4.95 contact droverspress@macwester43.plus.com

To purchase ebooks visit www.amazon.com or www.smashwords.com

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