Recently I asked Taylor about what he was reading. The author's reply:
Ten Fighter Boys. Foreward by Jimmy Corbin: First published by Collins in 1942, reissued by Collins 2008Visit Patrick Taylor's website.
There are sentences from books indelibly etched in my mind from boyhood. “Call me Ishmael,” “I am born.” There is another. I’ll tell you about it later. My father served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during WWII. When I was a boy he used my bedroom as his library. Two of my favourite books were Spitfire Pilot by David Crook, and Ten Fighter Boys. Reading them I began to appreciate the immense bravery of the young men who fought in the Battle of Britain in the sumer and autumn of 1940. My interest in military history sprang from those works. Ten Fighter Boys was an unedited collection of the stories of ten Spitfire pilots on 66 Squadron stationed at Biggin Hill.
To my intense delight while looking for something to read on a recent flight to England and Ireland in part to visit a naval hospital which forms a large section of the setting in1940 for book 10 in the Irish Country Doctor (publication date Oct. 2015) series I stumbled across the reissue of Ten Fighter Boys. The foreward was by the last survivor. The stories were as vivid as ever. My admiration for the authors and their typically British understated gallantry grew, my sadness at their sacrifice deepened. Six of the ten had perished before the book’s first release.
The dedication of my book 10 will read. “To Doctor James ‘Jimmy’ Taylor, Squadron Leader RAFVR.. (Retd.) And all those of his generation who fought and overcame a great evil. Ne Obliviscaris. Lest we forget.”
Oh yes, and the other memorable sentence? It’s from Ten Fighter Boys.
“Since writing these lines our gallant little Pickle has, alas been killed whilst flying on active service. ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra.”
My Book, The Movie: An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War.
The Page 69 Test: An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War.