The Battlefield: A Short Story

Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews
The Battlefield is a record of an event that took place, in a small coal mining village, towards the end of the Second World War. The place was New Silksworth, located in the Rural District of Sunderland, County Durham, England. At that time there were perhaps hundreds of these villages in the northern region of the United Kingdom and particularly in the county of Durham. More
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About George Bedell MBE

George Bedell was born and bred in New Silksworth. He was educated at New Silksworth Secondary Modern School. On completing an apprenticeship of five years in decoration and signwork, he was drafted into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, for two years National Service. He returned to civilian life in 1958 working as a journeyman for A. Hector Grabham. After two years, he left to take up a position as a paint technologist in Billingham while teaching part-time at Sunderland College of Art. From there, he accepted a full-time lecturer’s appointment at South Shields Marine and Technical College in 1962.
He was awarded the MBE in the Birthday Honours List of 1989 for ‘services to the handicapped’.
From April 1992 to March 1996, he served as the Chairman of Sunderland Health Authority. Retiring from teaching in 1996 he started a new career: a tribunal member of the Armed Forces Compensation Chamber and Pensions Appeals Tribunal where he remained for twelve years.


Interview with George Bedell MBE
George tells us about his life and writings.

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Review by: wordsfailme on March 3, 2014 :
Checked this out after having read Bicicletas. Another great story! Made me smile this one. I highly recommend it!
(review of free book)
Review by: Jonathan Antony Strickland on Oct. 8, 2013 :
This story of a Home Guard unit based in New Silksworth as the end of the second World War approaches. The story is mainly about Captain Norris and Sergant Bedall, and a task of blowing up a pillbox. However, things at first don’t go as planned, much to the Captains dismay and humilation.

This is an excellently told story. The history of the piece is both fascinating and I believe flawless. Being from the North East myself, I found the descriptions of the places of the time most intriguing, but it is the story itself were this tale actually truimphs.

With touches of comedy to lighten the drama at hand, this is truly a good solid read.

Highly recommended.
(review of free book)
Review by: RJCreviews on Sep. 11, 2013 :
This is a gem of a short story and a great insight into a time that’s hard to imagine today. Pit villages? Society pulling together? Pride (in the good sense) mixed with common purpose? This story is a beautifully crafted vignette of a piece of history that is fast fading from living memory – and an era that is ripe to be rediscovered by more recent generations for whom Dad’s Army was not compulsory viewing.

Blowing up a pill box in a poor northern village when the war was already won was clearly not the most heroic episode of WWII. But by focusing on ordinary people determined to do extraordinary things the story becomes a wonderful allegory for the war spirit. Younger generations might ask, after reading this story, where the same spirit is today when wars seem to have confused aims and are fought at arms length. I presume the pill box would be taken out today by a drone strike…

Class tension also pervades this story and provides a further talking point for today’s generation. Although the upper class types are a bit stereotyped it is not hard to see the same tensions in today’s society. Replace the blimps with rows of medal ribbons with today’s Great and Good and it is worrying how little has changed.

Finally, it is humour that makes this a compelling read and defuses (pun intended) the divisions among the characters. Next time you look at grandpa, or someone a generation or two older than you, remember that s/he did crazy, funny things that only you think you and your contemporaries get up to.
(review of free book)
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