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First Light

Narrated by: Andrew Brooke
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (197 ratings)
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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of First Light by Geoffrey Wellum, read by Andrew Brooke.

Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, 18-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF.

Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. 

Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum, many never return.

©2018 Geoffrey Wellum (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Excellent

Un-put-downable. The narration is particularly good and goes very well with the evocative style of the author.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant.

I felt at times I was actually in the aircraft with Flight Leftenant Geoffrey Wellam DFC. A marvelous account of what it took to be a frontline fighter pilot. God bless you Geoffrey, and all of your mates, those who died in battle, and those who so sadly died protecting our country.
We all owe an immense debt of gratitude to you, and ALL the fighter pilots that protected our island, and indeed the many other countries and islands that relied on young brave men like yourself. I would dearly like to meet you, and. shake your hand Sir. You and your brave heroic friends are what kept the Great in Great Britain. I sincerely hope you are with us and enjoying a calm and peaceful life with your family and friends.
God bless you Geoffrey Wellam RAF DFC.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • Crawley, West Sussex United Kingdom
  • 12-12-18

Gripping account of being a Spitfire pilot in WWII

I could not stop listening to this gripping account of Mr Wellum's career in the RAF during the most critical time in its history. He takes us through flying school and is very honest about the challenges that brought him, and then straight into the Battle of Britain, flying sorties to clear the skies of enemy aircraft. His descriptions of the joy of flying such a beautiful machine are extremely vivid, as are the stories of flying right on the edge of his, and his aircraft's, abilities just to survive, at times.

I found it humbling to be reminded of the debt we owe to these young men who stood alone against Hitler and his war machine. I just cannot imagine how difficult it must be to make friends, only to see them fail to return from missions a few weeks or months later. I see that Squadron Leader Wellum passed away last summer after a long life. I hope he found contentment and peace; he, and his comrades, will always have my gratitude.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Totally Humbling

An excellent narration of a story that i could not stop listening to. I don't tend to bother with audiobook reviews but not to make the effort after listening to this superb story just seemed wrong. I recommend to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Clear Skies, Mr Wellum, Clear Skies

Inspiring, Thought Provoking. One man's experience of war. No Jingoism, just truth and emotion. Beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable account of aerial warfare

The story manages to convey the fears and apprehensions of the boy who dreamed of flying, through to the weariness of the man he becomes having fought in single combat during the Battle of Britain and beyond, whilst still being in his early 20’s.

The dangers facing the fliers are described clearly, sweeping aside the image of glamour that is usually associated with ‘The Few’.

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Bought the book it's so good.

Brilliant listen. Puts you right in the cockpit with Geoffrey during selection, training & dogfights.

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Simply wonderful

Powerful, Artful, Wonderful.

A must for anyone who’s interested in the strength and courage of the human condition.

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  • S. Roche
  • North Yorkshire, UK.
  • 04-12-18

A humbling and at times harrowing account

A remarkable story, marred by poor narration. Does it really need to be read so sarcastically?

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Great Read

Great narrator and so well written. Thoroughly enjoyable listen. Love the British way. This last sentence is here because of audibles stupid mandatory 15 word rule

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  • Nick
  • 13-12-18

One of the best

I love memoirs in all wars, have listened to hundreds, this is right up there with the best.