Monday, 7 August 2017

Feedback

I always put off leaving feedback, just because it's one of those things that you should do, but don't have to do. Eventually, I end up having to do a bulk feedback dump. Yesterday was such a day.

A bulk feedback dump involves clicking the "positive" button then pasting in the same feedback for everyone. I always use "AAA all the way" but for some reason, yesterday I chose to just use a double A... "AA all the way".

With around twenty feedbacks completed I hit the generic "leave feedback" button... and the task was duly completed.

However, rather uncharacteristically, it failed to register that the difficult to find nozzle washers for my ageing DeVilbiss Super 63 airbrush (that I'd ordered from a fellow airbrush artist) had not actually been received yet.

Today, I received the following message:

"Hello I see you left me feedback could you tell me please if you received your item you see I have just lost my son and my mind is a blank at the moment and I don't remember posting this. xxx"

I will not reveal the senders name, but from her screen name I would conclude that either she, or her son who just crossed the bridge... is a twin. <-


Saturday, 1 April 2017

ALL FOOLS DAY

So... it's my birthday again? And yes... it is "All Fools Day". So why has the first of April become to be associated with fools? Here's my take.

You see, the 1st April is the first day of the old Pagan New Year... (that's why the tax year still runs from April to April). April is the beginning... when Spring springs into life and everything starts to grow again!

Easter usually falls around this time too. The word Easter comes from the ancient fertility god Eastra, of Saxon origin... the goddess of spring. That really explains the Easter bunny and the egg thing doesn't it? In 1582 Pope Gregory rearranged the calendar for the christian world making the new year fall on the 1st January.

So... those who existed for countless centuries before and those of us alive today, (who have not been christened or baptised into their religion)... were regarded as fools... by those who hijacked this old Anglo Saxon festival in the name of christianity.

We all know of the abundance of historical evidence, whereby those unfortunate enough to have been placed in the care of various christian religious institutions were systematically sexually abused... and those stories keep on coming, along with the now thankfully failing attempts to excuse or cover them up.

Those appalling accounts, of what can only be described as pure evil will continue... so long as fools believe so called 'christians' have some kind of moral respectability of moral superiority over the rest of us.

So far this 'all fools day' I have read two news items... one of which concerns a self appointed London based African Christian 'preacher' who, with his assistant, stripped a member of his 'flock' naked then proceeded to sexually abuse her... under the pretence of some kind of 'baptism'.

The other, the principal or head 'teacher' of a Christian Education Alliance in Tulsa, USA... who has been arrested by federal agents for using an app to view child pornography through a chatroom.

Christianity... the events of which were passed down by word of mouth for a hundred years or so... before even beginning to be written down?

The religion that to this day, still continues to insist on 'truths'... based on absolutely no historical documented evidence... that any of it ever happened?

And you thought 'Fake News' (and those fools inclined to swallow it)... was a recent thing... didn't you? Happy April 'Fools' Day! <-

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Europe is a lot more complicated than you probably thought.

People probably wrongly assume that Europe was invaded by Germany alone during the Second World War.

Italy declared war on the Allies, Great Britain and France in 1940. Mussolini's declaration; "We are going to war against the plutocratic and reactionary democracies of the West who have invariably hindered the progress and often threatened the very existence of the Italian people."

The 'Axis Powers' Germany, Italy, and Japan took the name after the Tripartite Pact was signed on 27th September 1940, in Berlin.

Germany and Italy had previously aided General Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Franco of Spain is reputed to have promised Hitler the capture of British Gibralter through Spain once Hitler had captured Cairo and Suez. Spain and Portugal were conveniently neutral and therefore, were never invaded.

Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia also signed the Tri-Partite Pact becoming member states. These countries all participated in various military aggression on behalf of the Axis, except Yugoslavia... who's pro-Nazi regime was overthrown within days of signing the pact and the decision was reversed.

Two 'puppet states', Slovakia and Croatia became client members when they signed the Pact. Various other countries including Finland fought alongside the Axis powers for the common cause, although they did not actually sign the pact.

The following European area states (although not signatories of the Tri-Partite Pact) at one point or another, cooperated with the Axis to an extent that makes their position or supposed neutrality disputable: Denmark, Soviet Union, Spain and Vichy France.

Do you really think it's a good idea to actively encourage the collapse of the EU, the union of Europe... the one thing that's held it all together, since the end of the war... seriously?



Sunday, 22 May 2016

Hold On (part two)

Parentood


My Father was eighteen years older than my mother and before they ever met he had survived World War II and Palestine in '46. After that, he went to South Africa where he worked as a civil engineer before returning to Britain in the mid 1950's.

*(As I wrote those lines the smoke alarm I keep in my room beeped three times... maybe it needs a new battery?).

My father left school at 14. He signed up, joining the army before war was declared on Germany. When he came out he could speak German, Italian and French, fluently, and could get by in Polish (and several more that I can't remember). There was no word in the English language (and probably the others too) that he was unable to spell correctly.

Although he was with the Eighth Army in Africa and Sicily, my uncle said that during the war there were periods where no information was available to the family, either of his whereabouts or what he was involved with.

The Long Range Dessert Group was founded in Egypt 1940, a group that never numbered more than 350 men, all of whom were volunteers. The LRDG worked with the SAS, military intelligence, and operated often behind enemy lines. There is no record of his military service, that I have been able to find.

Needless to say my father was not an emotional man. On the few occasions that I challenged him, physical violence was involved, but nothing that I didn't ask for, or deserve at the time.

My mother on the other hand, was artistic, very emotional... and apart from being evacuated during the war to Cornwall, had never been anywhere outside of Richmond Upon Thames, where she remains to this day.

Losing Control


The marriage was doomed from the outset and deteriorated drastically during my childhood and I have seen some things that a child ought not to have seen. I only ever saw my father crack once... he howled like a wolf, like a wild animal caught in a trap, something I will never forget.

Eventually, both my parents turned to drink and my mother suffered severe mental health problems as a result of not being able to receive the emotional security that she desperately required.

She became addicted to the mind altering drugs that men in white coats prescribe, drugs which mask the underlying problem, and rob the mind of all of its power... to heal itself.

Even in my darkest hours, I refused to take the drugs that were offered to me, and to this day rarely drink alcohol. (I have only really been completely drunk once, the day I got married)?

Eventually, my mother became one of those people, confined to her bed in a darkened room '... crying desperate tears, on the inside, that no one can hear'. By then, I had become immune to my parents' problems (as a self-defence mechanism),  but one day she called out to me from her room. I found her there, alone, desperate... she asked me for help, saying that she wanted to die.

A year after my Near Death Experience, I took her away from that room, returning her here to Richmond where she found someone else to look out for her, a job which has now fallen once again, to me. However, at 81 she no longer suffers from anything other than the problems of old age.

Having found my mother like that, back in '82, I asked whatever it is that's always been there, in the background; "take it from her and give it to me, I'm stronger than her."

Eight years later, I found my self back in that very same room, alone and in darkness, feeling that I had nothing left to live for. Be very careful, for what you wish.

A Fateful Day


Although no words were spoken to me during my NDE... by that which has always been there, in the background, (usually off to my left-hand side) I can equate it to 'someone'... pressing the 'pause' button.

At the time, back in '81, life was ok? I had a beautiful girlfriend that I'd met back in 1975 after having been sent to the local pub in the middle of the day, to find. I'd just got off my motorbike having returned from buying an album... 'In For The Kill' by Budgie and I was going to go indoors, to play it... like you do?

I never normally would've gone to the pub, on my own, (because I was still a bit insecure then) let alone, in the middle of the day? It was August the second... the same day that the 'Lone Arrow' portrait was painted, by psychic artist Margaret Bevan 25 years before... eight years before I was born.

I kind of just 'knew' I was supposed to go there, so I got back on my bike and drove off to the pub. I parked my bike in the carpark, went in and bought a lager shandy (I was riding!). I went back outside to find her sitting there with her friend (who I knew) on the wall, next to my bike.

Giving Up The Ghost


Six years later, as I lay in my hospital bed, it had never really occurred to me, that I had been using my girlfriend (who later became my wife) as an emotional crutch, one that had supported me since I was seventeen... one that I desperately needed then, because I had lived for a long time, 'switched off' emotionally, from the problems at home.

I also had no reason to consider the fact that the same crutch would one day be kicked from under me, forcing me into a position, that would be very difficult for me, to recover from? (To this day, she remains the only person that I have ever been that close to).

In 1981 I had my own business as a graphic designer and a large advertising account. Things were looking like I was actually going to be right (when in 1974 I had been asked during my interview at Epsom School of Art and Design...) "How do you envisage yourself by the time you're twenty five?"

When I replied that I supposed I'd own my own home and be married by then... they laughed at me, suggesting I should go and get a job at a supermarket? (I was right. Asshole).

At that point, I had no reason to 'give up the ghost' and lay down and die. However, at the very basic level, we are human animals and when an animal is wounded to the point it can no longer fully function... it will crawl off into a corner someplace, having accepted that it is time to die.

NDE


So, I found myself on 'pause'... in a 'nowhere place', pitch black, no noise, nothing. I was completely unafraid, because I'd been here before, when I was very young. But this time I wasn't falling. I was no longer that terrified three-year old child desperately trying to get back to its body. I completely understood what was happening.

I'd previously been shown my body, laying there on the hospital bed, motionless. I could see right through it, almost like a CAT scan... flesh, bone, blood and the rot, poison or whatever it was inside, that had stopped it from functioning properly. It repulsed me and I moved away from it, quickly... "that is, NOT ME!".

I said those words... except I didn't speak them, (because there is no mouth to speak them with, or ears to hear them with). But just as you may well be thinking to yourself right now, "WTF?" you can still hear those words, on the inside can't you? And... they sound exactly the same to you, as they do when you say them out loud, don't they?

There were no bright lights, or visions of doom, or tunnels or angels (or Native American Indians). My brain wasn't pumping itself full of chemicals, desperately trying to cling on to life. Like the wounded animal, it had reached the conclusion... that it was done for.

Likewise, after a week of incredible stomach pain, being misdiagnosed twice, getting up in the middle of the night, not even telling my parents (because I 'knew' they, would call an ambulance and it would be too late) driving my self in agony to the hospital, being cut open, losing over three stone in weight, my girlfriend in tears, having a junior doctor push tubes up my nose and down my throat, vomiting up dark red stuff, splitting my stitches... finally, I really had, had enough of all that!

Not many people in a state of panic or desperately trying to 'cling on' or survive... would pull the tubes out of themselves and tell their doctor to "F*ck off and leave me alone!"... would they?

And there were no other souls, spirits, guides (or whatever you want to call them)... because I didn't need them to be there, in the 'nowhere place' or in-between this one and the next one. I say no one was there which is technically correct, but that which has always been there, was still there, but maybe a bit closer than before?

I don't know what 'It' is... but certainly not 'the great white wizard in the sky'? (I borrowed that from somewhere). There was no exceptional feeling of 'love' all around me (I was a 'grown-up' by now) but there was nothing whatsoever, to be afraid of. 

I did feel slightly in awe... kind of like "don't say anything stupid right now... K?"  Because, there is, there was, something there that I can only describe as immense, probably beyond my limited ability to fully comprehend... except 'It' knew me and I knew 'It'.

Maybe 'It' is the Universe itself, because after all, that is where we were made, out of stardust? However, that only really applies to the body... the one that had broken down, that was still back there on the bed. I get the feeling that 'It' is a bit more complicated than that... probably?

Consequences



Undoubtedly, some will say, I was dreaming. But in your dreams you still experience the every day symptoms of being in your body. Fear, anger, anxiety, stress, hunger... you even feel horny, in your dreams? There was none of that business going on, because I wasn't in my body and I wasn't dreaming.

As I have said, there was no reason for me to not want to carry on with my life. However, I wasn't in any particular hurry to get out of where I now found myself, either. The world is a pretty uncomfortable place... and to some extent we exist in it like a fish out of water.

Right from when you're born... frustration, hunger, then itchy school trousers,  confusion, zits, too hot, too cold, and tired man... exhaustion! You cannot even begin to imagine what it's like to be totally free, of all that... to exist completely in your natural state of being.

And yet here I was 'on hold'. No explanation as to why, other than the fact that either my body had died... or I had gotten the hell out of Dodge, before it did? No explanation as to why I wasn't going on to the next place... or being shown, or guided as to, what I was supposed to do next?

I don't know why I said it, it would have been a lot easier, with hindsight, to have decided for myself... not to go back, and face what was to come, in the years that followed, even now, thirty five years later. But I did say it:

"It's up to you..."
"Either I go on, or go back."
"It's your decision."

Looking back now I have realised, the 'pause' button was probably pressed because it wasn't entirely certain that I could survive what would follow, if I returned. I was kind of being given the option to quit, while I was ahead. I had no idea what awaited me, back here, on the Bridge... only that it was important, had purpose, and was not just for my benefit alone?

I guess those words meant "I know you... and I trust you, completely".

If I had chosen not to return to this place there would have been consequences, not just for my own personal or spiritual development, but for the others. The people you meet in this life, including your parents, your children, even strangers... something that you do, maybe in the briefest of moments, will have consequences; both good and bad ones. Nothing happens purely by accident, of that I am certain.

So, no matter how bad things get, hold on. If you decide you can't carry on with your journey, crossing the Bridge Of Life, no you won't be damned. But there will be consequences for those that you love, and who loved you back and whom you will leave, behind you.

And there will be consequences for you too. Nothing bad, but like school... this place can be a very big pain in the ass, but it is also necessary for you, to learn and to grow.

You have a purpose. You may not know what it is yet, you may never get to know... but the alternative may be that you're put on hold until you're ready to try it all over again?

You got this far... keep going. Hold on tight, to the fact that every day you do make a difference, just by being right here, right now, on a journey that was set out for you alone, to complete.

"The world is a Bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it".

"... build no houses upon it." Because the Bridge is not your home, where you truly belong. Only when you cross the Bridge will you get there and know that 'It' is awesome... and that so were you!

Peace be with you. <-


Richard Ashcroft 'Hold On': Hold On


'Lone Arrow' painted by Margaret Bevan (psychic artist) on 2nd August 1950.



**(The smoke alarm was quiet, until I got to the last paragraph, why I stopped there. Needs a new battery now).














Saturday, 21 May 2016

Hold On (part one)

I'm going to try to show you that there is a reason for your being here. That you are more than that which you think you are. That no matter how bad things may seem, there is a purpose to it. No... if you really feel that you can't cope, that you cannot complete your journey, across the Bridge, you won't be damned... but you might need to come back and do it all again? So hold on!



Some spiritual people say that you are never given more than that which you are able to cope with, on your journey, crossing The Bridge of Life. Evidently, that may not be true.

Figures from the Samaritans’ Suicide Statistics Report 2016 state that in 2014 there were 6,122 deaths by suicide registered in the United Kingdom. 10.8 per 100,000 people (16.8 per 100,000 for men and 5.2 per 100,000 for women). The highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49 at 26.5 suicides per 100,000.

If someone could offer indisputable evidence that proved life didn’t end here, that when you die you go to 'Heaven' (or some other form of Paradise); the suicide rate would probably double overnight. Maybe that’s why there is no such evidence readily available?

If you've read my previous entry 'Life And Death' you may be wondering what happened during my 'practice run' at death, between the hours of around midnight and six in the morning, back in 1981?

The Near Death Experience


There have been numerous accounts from patients on the verge of death who experience a so called 'Near Death Experience' or NDE. There has also been a certain amount of clinical research into the subject, carried out usually with a desperate purpose... to discredit the possibility that an individual's consciousness can exist outside of the physical body.

However, some have continued to ask awkward questions and research into the subject continues. 

"Several NDE researchers have argued that the NDE poses a major challenge to current scientific thinking regarding the relationship between consciousness and the brain, as argued by Van Lommel..."

"How could a clear consciousness outside one's body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG?... (the) NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation."

Most common NDEs usually involve a sensation of being separated from the physical body, bright lights, long tunnels, a state of euphoria etc, etc. Christians tend to have angels on hand whereas, some people see demons and visions of doom and damnation! (The doom and damnation isn't selective or strictly reserved for non-Christians or atheists, by the way).

Most of this is 'explained' (by the men in white coats) as increased brain activity at the point of near death:

"Psychologist Chris French has summarized psychological and physiological theories that provide a physical explanation for NDEs. One psychological theory proposes that the NDE is a dissociative defense mechanism that occurs in times of extreme danger. A wide range of physiological theories of the NDE have been put forward including those based upon cerebral hypoxia, anoxia, and hypercarbia; endorphins and other neurotransmitters; and abnormal activity in the temporal lobes."

Slightly less easy to explain however, is the fact that in some cases NDE survivors have been able to describe the events that took place in the room in detail... after they died?

Experiments have been carried out where pictures or targets have been placed above eye level, on shelves which would only be visible from above. These have not so far been conclusive... I wonder why?

This kind of illustrates to me, the peculiar way, the men in white coats think. So you've just died... and you're going to be looking at the ornaments on the shelf... really? You wanna try that yourself?

Hold on... the following is relevant, read on.


Déjà vu


All of my life, as far back as I can remember (and I can remember right back to when I was two years old) I have had the feeling that I arrived here, from somewhere else. And... kind of like school, that this place really is a pain in the ass... but necessary?

When I finally visited Greece in 1984 and saw the Parthanon albeit from a distance, on the way to Spetses Island in the Aegean Sea; I had an incredible feeling of coming home to a place that I had known before.

This is undoubtedly a common experience for many, maybe you have experienced it too? However, I bet you didn't feel compelled to read Homer's 'The Odyssey' and then the 'Iliad'... (all 358,020 words of it)... when you were just sixteen?

Life Changing Event


From a very early age, around three to four years old, my parents would often find me in my bed in a hysterical state.

In this reality I was sitting up in bed, screaming the house down. Although the light was on and they were by my side physically shaking me, desperately trying to bring me out of it... I was somewhere else.

From my point of view, I was falling down and down, into an endless pitch-black hole. I was completely devoid of any sensory perception, I couldn't even hear my self screaming. It was the most terrifying experience I have ever encountered to date.

As a direct result of that, I no longer have nightmares... well that's to say, I do have dreams that might scare the pants off of you... but they really don't worry me in the slightest.

I also seem to have developed the ability to wake up within a dream, being fully conscious of the fact, that my brain is dreaming and will wake up, when it gets around to it. What would that suggest to you?

Around age seven, maybe because of the nightmares, I was very nervous. I was also terrified of Mrs Elliot, the English teacher... I was crap at spelling and when you got it wrong, she had a compulsion to hit you with a ruler.

By age ten, the dreaded 'Eleven Plus' exam was looming and the pressure to succeed was on. The exam would determine whether you were bright enough to get a Grammar School place... or not?

This really did worry me, to the point of not being able to sleep at night, as the dreaded exam date loomed ever closer. I knew what was expected of me by my parents (who only wanted what was best for me)... but I had incredible doubts about my own intellectual ability.

The night before the exam, I was lying in my bed, with that sick feeling burning the inside of my stomach, unable to sleep. Then someone appeared at the foot of my bed.

Now, if like me, you're not religious... you're gonna laugh. Yep, it was Jesus... the blue-eyed blonde haired one, the one that we were all taught about in the RE lesson at school.

The fact that it was the fairy tale Jesus is relevant however. Someone had a message for me... and for me to receive it, and act upon it, I needed to be able to identify with the bearer of the message. Maybe the ten-year old boy constructed the image... or maybe the messenger did on my behalf, who knows? it doesn't really matter, the message does:

"Why are you worrying about it?"

"What is the worse thing that can happen?"

I stopped worrying and instantly, went to sleep. The next day I woke up feeling incredibly confident... and completely relaxed. I went to school and sat the exam, with a smile on my face.

When the results were announced, my parents were told that I'd done very well. However, I was a 'borderline' case and it was only because of the number of applicants (42 in a class back then) that I missed out on a Grammar School place.

The 'worse thing that could happen' really was not such a big deal as has so often been the case throughout the remainder of my life. Worrying about something, is nothing but ultimately, self-defeating.

The Real Jesus


Although my parents had the foresight to leave it up to me to decide (and I have not been baptised into any religion)... I do however, believe that there was a man called Jesus, a great teacher.

He would have been dark skinned, dark haired and probably was crucified on a Roman cross but may not have actually died there?

There is evidence to suggest (that seems, ironically, to have only been documented by the Islamic faith), that he went back to where he came from; into the East, to continue to teach, to any who would listen, to his great words of wisdom... 

'The world is a Bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it".

(To be continued).


Richard Ashcroft 'Hold On': Hold On


Further viewing: Did Jesus Die On The Cross?

Further reading: The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Life And Death

Some undoubtedly think my comments on death, are a little insensitive. The sad truth is, that there are many fates far worse than death.

I have seen them, locked away on the top floor. Lying in beds in darkened rooms unable to move, crying desperate tears on the inside, that no one can hear.

In 1981 I survived a burst appendix after driving myself (in agony) to hospital, I made it just in time, or so I was told. However, that wasn't the end of it; peritonitis had set in.

I lost three stone in weight. You know you're in trouble when your loved ones arrive, take one look at you and burst into tears? And finally, after having tubes shoved down my throat, making me throw up (dark red stuff) and bursting my freshly sewn stitches... I'd had enough of that.

I pulled the tubes out and turned the doctors away. Peritonitis is quite often, fatal and they told me that I was "seriously endangering my life". The truth is, I didn't care... because there comes a point where you no longer do.

I was ready to die. I wasn't afraid. I'm not religious or I'm not a member at least... but I've always kind of known that which I know.

No one in this place, has control over life and death. They might think that they do, but they only know, or think they know, the things that they can measure or see.

I didn't die that day because it wasn't my day to die... but I did have a kind of practice run at it? Just for a short while, long enough to know for certain, that no one really dies.

Don't be afraid of death... after all, living is so often, far more frightening. And death is so often and for so many, a welcome release, from suffering.

Be grateful, and hope that you've earned yourself a good death, when you can be on your way... to whatever fate awaits you. But that won't happen until it's meant to, on your dying day.

Peace be with you. <-


Saturday, 7 May 2016

WWII... The Hollywood Version?

Once again, I have suffered an ill-informed American informing me of how the Americans defeated the Germans and won the Second World War, on behalf of the British.

This re-invention of historical facts so long portrayed by Hollywood was however, also in fact a deliberate media manipulation of events necessary for several reasons at the time. The British had effectively disarmed and were pretty much bankrupt after trying to maintain their crumbling Empire. American cash was desperately required to fund our own war effort.

The Americans too, needed to sell war-bonds to finance their massive mobilisation into Europe and the Pacific... and keep it going!

As previously mentioned in this blog, the British had managed to defeat Hitler's Luftwaffe (airforce) and prevent an all out invasion of Britain in 1940 with he help of British Commonwealth pilots... and nine brave American volunteer pilots did take part, to whom we are grateful.

During the entire Battle Of Britain America was officially 'neutral'... but there is historical evidence that many Americans at the time, including Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh together with an estimated upwards of 25,000 members of the German American Bund actively supported the ideals of Adolf Hitler's Nazi movement.

Bundesführer Fritz Kuhn thrived in America from 1936 through 1939. “Certainly there were enough Bundists to develop a nationwide system of family retreats, businesses, publications, plus the organization’s own versions of Hitler Youth and SS squadrons. At their height in February 1939, the Bund held a rally in Madison Square Garden with some 20,000 people packing the arena to hear speeches by Kuhn and his flunkies.” (thehistoryreader.com).

However, as is so often the case, fate intervened in the shape of Japan who decided to attack Pearl Harbour, (conveniently for us) omitting to inform Hitler of their plans and thus unwittingly sealing their own fate; the ultimate downfall of both, Japan in the Pacific and the Nazis... in Europe.

Personally, I love Americans, but my father was not so keen and probably to this day, spins in his grave every time I watch another Hollywood movie where Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt saves the day for the rest of humanity... and I think he probably had good reason?

By the time American troops hit European soil in 1943 after supposedly 'training' for war, the British Eighth Army had been fighting the Nazis non stop in North Africa since 1940. Some Americans took part in 1942 towards the end of that battle but in truth, that was more for the purposes of the media manipulation I referred to earlier!

After the North Africa Campaign British Forces (including my father with the Eighth), headed for the invasion of Sicily joining forces with the Yanks to commence The Italian Campaign 1943.

I was pretty young at the time, but I'm fairly certain his accounts to me of what happened, were from events that took place there:

Having defeated a Nazi position on a ridge, the British handed it over to the Americans... who lost it. The British who were then ordered to attack and retake the same position, handed it back over to the Yanks who lost it again... and again!

My father would visibly wince every time he heard the phrase "let's get the hell outta here!" because that is the phrase that resulted in so many of his comrades dying.

Now, before you burst a blood vessel... I'm not saying Americans are cowards... the fact is many of them were just kids, eighteen year-olds who had trained for war but never actually fought in one, unlike the battle hardened Brits who'd been fighting since the war broke out in 1939. Unfortunately, many of those American kids took much of the credit as it was presented to the world at that time, in the media and we the British were instructed to let them have their glory for sound political reasons.

My father personally related to me an event where the Brits alone fought, liberating an Italian town. At the end of the battle, the Eighth were ordered to leave, while American troops were trucked in to take the Victory Parade in front of the media. Those Americans never took part, never fired a single round in anger in that particular battle. Yes... I think I would have been a bit upset about that, don't you?

You won't find facts like these very easily, maybe as we've finally repaid the war debt (2006) the real truth will out, as it so often does. But maybe not... because the Brits that were actually there, who took part in these event, are now long gone.

There are only those of us like myself left who witnessed the telling of their story at first hand, and who choose to try and put the record straight, not to belittle Americans, but to honour the heroic acts of our fathers.

Long before the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944, the real truth is that the Nazis were really defeated on the Eastern Front, (officially constituted as the largest military confrontation in history) and in North Africa where my father fought with the Eighth Army.

On the Eastern front fighting involved millions of German lead (Axis) troops and Soviet lead troops. It was the widest land front in military history and by far the deadliest single theatre of war in World War II... in which neither the Americans (nor British) actively fought.

The North Africa Campaign took place from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It comprised of major battles fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts... and was also known as 'The Desert War'.

The Allied forces were dominated by the British. The Eighth Army was a British formation, always commanded by British Army officers... however its personnel also came from throughout the British Commonwealth and included exiles from Nazi occupied Europe. The United States entered the war in 1941 and began direct military assistance in North Africa on 11 May 1942.

British Commonwealth losses were estimated at 220,000 dead, wounded, missing and captured. Axis losses estimated at German: 18,594 dead; 3,400 missing; 130,000 captured. Italian: 22,341 dead or missing; 340,000 captured.

The British had 1,400 aircraft destroyed; 2,000 tanks destroyed while Axis forces lost 8,000 aircraft destroyed; 6,200 guns, 2,550 tanks and 70,000 trucks destroyed or captured. 2,400,000 gross tons of shipping was sunk.

"Operation Torch in November 1942 was a compromise operation that met the British objective of securing victory in North Africa while allowing American armed forces the opportunity to engage in the fight against Nazi Germany on a limited scale."

American losses: 2,715 killed; 8,978 wounded; 6,528 missing. The facts speak for themselves.

After fighting and losing on such a scale as on these two major battle fronts, (together with the British RAF's demoralisation and virtual destruction of German air superiority in Hitler's misguided attempt to invade Great Britain) both the Nazi leadership and forces would never fully recover to their former strength.

As far as Allied British and American forces kicking the Nazis out of Europe... that was by no means an easy task, but probably would not have happened in such a relatively short time, but for Hitler's defeat by the British both at home and in Africa... and by the Russians on the Eastern front.

Many 'War Films' have chosen to concentrate on D-Day and the American lead invasion... and these were brave men who took part, witnessing horror on a scale that we today cannot even begin to imagine, let alone live with for the rest of our days. However, the real story is what happened before the Normandy Invasions.

The British Eighth Army in North Africa: "a see-saw series of battles for control of Libya and parts of Egypt...  reaching a climax in the Second Battle of El Alamein when British Commonwealth forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery delivered a decisive defeat to the Axis forces and pushed them back to Tunisia".

The British Fourteenth Army in Burma since 1943 "... often referred to as the 'Forgotten Army' because its operations in the Burma Campaign were overlooked by the contemporary press, and remained more obscure than those of the corresponding formations in Europe for long after the war".

These true historical events should no longer be overlooked helping to perpetuate the myth... that America won the War.

The Pacific however, was a whole other story.

For all those, of all nations who fought bravely, who sacrificed their lives for the democracies of the world that we now take so easily, for granted. RIP.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them”.