by Major Ernest Barker BEM
There are extraordinary lives and careers and this hardback book details a life that is truly both. Ernest Barker enlisted as a boy soldier in 1934 and in a relatively short period had served in both the Western Desert and Greece whilst having been promoted to a Sargent in the Royal Signals. Then things moved on rapidly again:
Barker was assigned to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and underwent parachute training. With his special forces training completed, was allocated to 'Operation Arundel' as its radio operator. Led by Captain Martin Smith MC, he was parachuted into the Dolomites in 1944. The team's brief was to cause havoc in the area around the Italian border and to infiltrate into Austria. Whilst attempting to evade German forces he was captured and Barker provides a vivid account of being 'interrogated' by the SS and Gestapo. Having survived these experiences, he was incarcerated in Stalag Luft XVIII in Southern Austria. Ever defiant, Barker escaped and was eventually repatriated to the UK. The story does not end in WWII either, as after the war Barker opted to remain in the Army, and was promoted to Major, Barker became the Officer Commanding 22 SAS in Malaya. Unfortunately his life was ultimately cut short as he was killed in a helicopter crash in Malaya in 1953.
This book largely written by Barker himself is an extraordinary memoir of a life. Recommended to anyone interested in the SOE activity of WWII and much more besides, all told from first-hand experience.
Size: 165x236mm, 256 pages. Hardback
Non-Members - £25.00
RSGB Members - £17.99 (28% off)