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A Medical Corps man's diary of war.

What was it really like in the war? There are as many answers to that question as there are people who lived through it.

Tom Fleming, a calligrapher and graphic artist from Woodhorn Village, near Ashington, Northumberland, served with the Royal Army Medical Corps throughout the war, having volunteered as a 19-year-old in 1940.

Attached to the 8th Armoured Brigade, he saw action in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe - notably the ferocious El Alamein campaign and the D-Day landings.

Tom kept a diary and did sketches of many of the places he visited and people he met.

The diary goes a long way towards answering that opening question. This is an authentic account of one man's war, recalling the tragedies, the fear and also the seemingly inconsequential stuff the historians might overlook.

The entry for May 18, 1941, recalls an Australian whose right arm had been blown off. He was brought to hospital cursing the stretcher bearers. "Later the reason was discovered," notes Tom. "He had been searching for his right arm which had been blown off, as on the wrist was a presentation wrist watch."

* My Daily War Diary 1940-1946 by Tom Fleming costs pounds 10.99 (pounds 13.50 including postage and packing). You can contact the author on (01670) 817-521.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2003
Words:215
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