Review | Fleet Air Arm Memories 1939 - 1946: Tales of the Brummagen Bastard | R.S Pyne and N.H Mills

I came across Fleet Air Arm Memories 1939 - 1946: Tales of the Brummagem Bastard when I was checking out the "Meet the Authors" threads on the Amazon discussion pages. Author R.S Pyne has taken his / her grandfather's diary, notes, correspondence, citations and other documents to create this very interesting annotated memoire of the life of a young, war-time recruit in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. 

Grandfather is Norman H. Mills whose voice comes through strongly throughout this book. His memories of his experiences in just about every campaign of WW2 are quite amazing. The details are personal and give fascinating insights into the every day life of the service personnel of the era. The annotations cover a variety of topics and purposes and contain an interesting mix of explanations and technical details with some useful references to other sources for those who want to find out more.

This is the first non-fiction book I have downloaded onto my Kindle and I shall be looking out for more of this type of memoire / reminiscence material. I am interested in this topic because I am working on a project to publish an annotated WW2 diary myself although the content is very different to the Tales of the Brummagem Bastard. I have started a blog about the project at

If you like memoires and reading about the lives of ordinary people in an historical context, Tales of the Brummagem Bastard is well worth a look. The family archive apparently contains a lot of photographic material which isn't included but will be part of a subsequent publication. If it proves to be anything like the written material it will be fascinating.