Fire By Night: The Story of One Pathfinder Crew and Black Thursday, 16/17 December 1943 (Grub Street, London, new edition, 2011)
When she was very young, the author was captivated by the story her father, Joe Mack, repeatedly told her about his astonishing rescue from a crashed and burning Lancaster one night in 1943. As an adult she decided to find out what happened to his aircraft and the countless others returning from operations that same dreadful night. In this title, she writes from the heart, honestly and at times lyrically and her thorough research uncovers the harsh realities of warfare, the failure of procedures and, worst of all, her father’s shocking secret.
Major Cotterell and Arnhem: A War Crime and a Mystery (Spellmount, Stroud, 2012)
Conscripted into the British Army in 1940, talented journalist Anthony Cotterell was never going to make a natural soldier. The Army eventually realised that his abilities lay elsewhere and he was transferred to a new department of the War Office where he could do what he did best – write. He would become one of the Army’s top journalists, eventually covering the D-Day landings and the Normandy campaign. Anthony managed to blag himself a place in the parachute drop at Arnhem in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden. Captured, on 23 September he was one of a group of British prisoners wounded or killed when SS guards opened fire. Treated in a German dressing station with the other wounded, Anthony then vanished without trace, the only member of the party to do so. In Major Cotterell at Arnhem, Jennie Gray tells the story of Anthony’s rise to journalistic fame in the Army, the Arnhem adventure, the SS war crime and the disappearance. She then recounts the dramatic and painful three-year search to find Anthony mounted by the War Crimes Group, the Search Bureau and the Netherlands War Crimes Commission, in tandem with the private search made by Anthony’s devoted brother, Geoffrey Cotterell. Best-selling author Geoffrey has kindly co-operated in in the writing of this book. Complemented by Anthony’s own words, official War Crime Group documentation and the letters about the search that Geoffrey wrote almost daily to his mother, this is a poignant story of one man lost in the tumult of war.
Editor, This is WAR! The Diaries and Journalism of Anthony Cotterell, 1940-1994 (Spellmount, Stroud, 2013)
Anthony Cotterell wrote a unique form of war journalism – witty, sharp,engaging, and so vivid it was almost cinematic. As an official British Army journalist during the Second World War, he flew on bombing raids, sailed with merchant shipping convoys, crossed to France on D-Day, and took part in the Normandy Campaign. During this time he kept a diary, a hilarious and caustic record of his role in the war, a diary which abruptly ended after he vanished in mysterious circumstances after the battle of Arnhem bridge in 1944. Cotterell’s diary and selected war journalism, illustrated with previously unpublished photographs, are presented together here to shed new light not only on the everyday life of the British Army in the Second World War but also on the role of the press during times of conflict. The quality of his writing is truly captivating and his account of the Normandy campaign is surely the nearest that a modern reader will ever get to experiencing what it was like to be in the thick of a Normandy tank battle.
To be published in 2017
The Graves of Our Boys: Colonel Stott and the Care of the Second World War Military Dead