WW2 book set in 1066 country

Paul Dayrell
Paul Dayrell

A RETIRED salesman from Fairlight has written a gritty World War II novel based on true events and set in Pett Level.

Paul Dayrell, a WW2 history enthusiast, has written a fictional book, Pett Level Landings, which focuses on the events leading up to Adolf Hitler’s proposed invasion of England.

The novel follows the story of six Germans, led by a Gruppenfuhrer Zimmermann, and six men from the British secret army who are being led by a local GP, Dr. Adrian Hart.

Mr Dayrell said: “I have tried to get deep into their individual thought processes and have hopefully achieved that.

“There are many true facts entwined in the story, including the shelling of a local house by a German submarine. It is believed that this house, which still stands proudly and defiantly on the cliff top between “Fairlight and Pett Level, was being used to operate ‘Bombe’. This was Alan Turing’s decoding machine, capable of deciphering the German ‘Enigma’ code and was allegedly having a devastating effect on the German fleet.”

The author, who has lived in Fairlight for 30 years, told the Observer that the inspiration for the book came while he was driving in the countryside near Doleham.

“I had an image of a man leaving his house and wife to take the train journey to an army barracks in Surrey,” he added. He had received his ‘call up papers’ at the start of WW2. The idea that they might never see each other again struck an emotional chord and the story began to develop in my mind.”

The novel is available in hardback for £9.95 from Bookbuster, Queens Road and a book launch will be held at the shop on Saturday, March, 29.