The offhand admission to the doctor at the recruiting centre that he suffered from asthma as a boy was enough to put an end to Michael Moynihan's military career even before it started. However, this unpropitious beginning was eventually to lead to a wartime career far more dramatic than anything he could have imagined had he been allowed to don the King's uniform. For, after a provincial grounding as a cub reporter in the North, he moved to London and soon became a war correspondent on the now long-defunct News Chronical, then one of the leading newspapers in Fleet Street. Prior to that he had acclimatised himself to a via de boheme in violent contrast to an upbringing largely centred around the near by Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel, and which gave him the opportunity to make the acquittance of the likes of Dylan Thomas, Tambimuttu, and his cousin Rodrigo, the painter. Then came D-Day and he is off to France. He is present at the Liberation of Paris. He covers the Arnhem fiasco from the air. He is in the American sector during the Battle of the Bulge He is sent to the Far East and flies the first dispatch from Hiroshima. And those are just a few of the highlights. From his own dispatches, many of which, in those space-starved days, were never published, from his on-the-spot diaries and letters to friends and relations, and from his won memories Michael moynihan has woven a tapestry which vividly brings to life the quite remarkable adventure of a man who was considered too unfit to fight for his country but who managed to serve it with as much courage as any who came home with a chest covered with medals.
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