“In First Light, Geoffrey Wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the. In , the RAF was established as the world’s first independent air force. To mark the th anniversary of its creation, Penguin are. Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF.

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Well this is a classic tale of courage and camaraderie in dark times.

Geoffrey Wellum

His recollections give a clear account of the day to day existence of those who fought and died. The whole account is awesome stuff.

wellym Brian Lasky rated it liked it Aug 16, By September his time with 92 Squadron had come to an end, and he was tired. He married Grace, his wartime girlfriend and they had three children.

First Light

Although he wrote it years later without referring to a personal journal since he had not kept one the experiences are like a fresh recounting of some recent event. No trivia or quizzes yet. Interesting firsthand account of the Battle of Britain. The account of Wellum’s Battle of Britain is an incredible read, as all these true stories are, told by one of the few, who is owed so much by so many. The story begins as the dark clouds gather over Europe in the late thirties.

He downplayed his own role during the Battle of Britain and I was really hooked on the narrative as it moved along at a cracking pace. He also vividly recounts his escorting of British bombers as they attacked the northwest coast of France in and describes his delivery of Spitfires to Malta in its rescue by the Allies and his escorting of bombers to Sicily in the summer of Wellum describes his chase of a Junkers 88 bomber in foul weather and his subsequent efforts to return to his airbase, I felt as if I were the cockpit with him, hoping that I’d get down safely and in one piece!


The battles and the losses were very real and so well described you could almost be there, but happily from the comfort of an armchair.

Nov 12, Steve Switzer rated it really liked it Shelves: In the interviews, Wellum talked about the difficulties he encountered later on in reconciling this part of his life with his later years and I was eagerly awaiting his second qellum ‘Twilight of the Few’ but there seems to be some delay or problem in publishing it. I enjoyed this very much.

It is beautifully written, humorous and touching. A Bf was claimed shot down on 9 July over France.

Geoffrey Wellum obituary | World news | The Guardian

D Holmes rated it it was amazing Oct 30, This story, written in the first person, is a page-turner and you are the pilot author. However the book continues on to cover his role in Operation Pedestal and the fighting over Malta until his return to England a First Light is one of those books that is destined to be remembered as a “classic” and rightly so.

A battle-hardened ace by the winter ofthough still notout of his teens, Boy flew firs of missions as fighter escort onbombing missions over France. When pilots write, and write well, as many have, they recreate for us their experiences on the ground and in the air relating to flight, not just fighting.

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To ask other readers questions about First Lightplease sign up. You truly felt, along with the author, his utter devastation. Wellum puts you up there in the cockpit with his masterful command of language and fantastic libht prowess. Lists with This Book. Justin Portess rated it it was amazing Sep 08, Read reviews that mention battle of britain geoffrey wellum fighter pilot young man world war highly recommended must read flight training aerial combat spitfire pilot well written air force ever read fighter pilots year old writing style royal air culture of the raf point of view learning to fly.

First Light by Geoffrey Wellum

This page was last edited on 25 Novemberat Extraordinary direct writing straight from the shoulder Deeply personal in a way I have seldom come across before. First Light is the record of an old man looking back on his life and asking the question of whether that life was worthwhile. Dudley Smith rated it it lighy amazing Jul 23, Thrust into combat almost forst, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties firt day, caught up in terr.

Equally well done are his descriptions of how utterly focussing, and sometimes frightening not just for a few seconds, but for many minutesit can be to fly in poor visibility, when neither the horizon nor the ground can be seen.

His instructors, his squadron mates, and the aircraft they flew are captured very convincingly. Refresh and try again. A Very British Love Story. H This is a very compelling book. We must never forget them.