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First Light

Written by: Geoffrey Wellum
Narrated by: Andrew Brooke
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: History, World

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Publisher's 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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  • Axel
  • 30-09-19

So much more than a book about a fighter pilot

I lowered the speed so I wouldn't miss a word. It was much less bravado and much more human

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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.

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  • Mr. Graham J. Atkinson
  • 29-07-18

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-18

Excellent

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 26-07-18

Clear Skies, Mr Wellum, Clear Skies

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

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  • Chris B
  • 25-08-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Blue Streak
  • 05-03-20

This book should be required reading in schools !

A remarkable tale of a young man who by the age of 22 years has had a lifetime's experience of war, war in the air. He relates his innermost thoughts as he progresses,and survives,whilst close friends are killed in the fight for survival of these Islands against the Nazi war machine.
I am a retired airline pilot who has flown over almost everywhere he has mentioned,flown in the same beautiful skies, as he had,but without the fear of flak or fighters. However,being an aviation buff I knew the skies in which I flew were where the previous generations pilots had fought for us,and often looked down and pondered what happened in World War 2.
Those of us alive in the UK today owe such a debt to men like Geoffrey Wellum.An awesome read.

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  • Tom
  • 13-02-20

Absolutely superb

Have just re listened to this. What a marvellous chap. The questions he asks are as important as his memories. We are a poorer nation for his generation passing. If you liked this try "That Summer" by Andrew Grieg.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-01-20

Excellent

Excellent book that works very well in audio. Very moving at times with some harrowing events well told. What a hero, incredibly humble and everything you’d expect from of the few. Highly recommended.

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  • Dan
  • 12-01-20

Excellent

Fantastic account of what these young men endured, from training to the front line, great listen, highly recommended

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  • William
  • 01-01-20

Just excellent

I found this just excellent. It was very well written and read. At times it felt like being in the cockpit. It brought home what those very brave young pilots went through. Recommended.

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  • Blethers
  • 29-11-19

Let it open your eyes

Superb - once I started to listen I could not stop. Fantastic insight in to the emotional and factual life of a battle of britain fighter pilot. Try not to forget how old Geoffrey was.

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  • Robert Lilley
  • 12-03-20

First Light is very good

Very enjoyable! Great narration. A good story of a fighter pilot during the WW2. His account of the war was fascinating.

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  • Richard O.
  • 22-04-19

A fighter pilot’s grand story

Most stories of flying and pilots are relatively engaging, but Geoffrey Wellum’s personal account of his achievements and survival as an RAF Spitfire pilot in WWII during the most perilous times of the air war and particularly during the Battle of Britain is exceptional and deeply personal. Flying along with Geoffrey was a privilege, and as a fighter pilot who flew aircraft far more sophisticated and complex than Spitfires decades later, I was humbled, enthralled, and deeply impressed by the unrelenting, visceral and existential nature of what this young man endured in those dark times.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-19

Great listen.

Enjoyed this audio very much. Quite a few humorous moments. Recognised many famous pilots from previous books.

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  • Tony Smithson
  • 17-10-18

Superb!!

Best narrator I have listened too. Fab story, what a life Geoffrey had, an inspiration to all