'Without Precedent' Words from a veteran.

Owen Zupp - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

 

 

The positive reviews of 'Without Precedent' can be found far and wide on the internet. From Amazon to Goodreads and in magazines around the world. Such kind words mean so much and the fact that dad's story is reaching and touching deeply so many people is the most pure testament to his extraordinary life. As a commando, fighter pilot and human being, he would be the first to admit that he was an ordinary man that was fortunate to have an extraordinary life - even if the latter was in many ways a function of his own persistence.

Every review is treasured, yet sometimes certain words strike an even deeper chord. I received an email this week from a fighter pilot who fought alongside my father in Korea. I think that I shall let his words tell the story.

 

"Hi Owen,

 

What a wonderful book you have written.
I simply could not put it down and went from chapter to chapter in a state of amazement.  What a life your father had, and I knew so little of this even though I would have said "Oh yes, I knew Phil Zupp well!" But, of course this was not true. So much, of great import was not spoken about even though it was of great importance and should have been a source of great pride to anyone. Such was the truly modest man who was your esteemed father.

 

Congratulations on the way you have related this remarkable history and your skill, in bringing it to life in a most realistic manner is truly gratifying to the reader.
Last night, as I had just finished reading the last few lines, the nurse came in to my room with my regular medications.  She was startled as she realised I was extremely upset, with tears in my eyes.  Of course this was easily explained and she joined me in some words of sympathy. I have been deeply touched by this life-story, and immensely impressed."

 

 

Mac's Hawker Hurricane P2902 To Fly Once More

Owen Zupp - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

 

The news filtered down today through various websites that Kenneth McGlashan's former steed, Hawker Hurricane P2902, is set to fly once more. Shot down over Dunkirk in 1940, a young Kenneth was forced down after an aerial engagement with a German fighter. Now, after a prolonged restoration process, the sky calls again.

Personally, the news excited me on one hand and saddened me a little on the other. I wrote the biography of Squadron Leader Kenneth McGlashan AFC, or 'Mac', in the book titled, 'Down to Earth'. Published by Grub Street in 2007, there were hopes even then that the first flight might not be too far away. Kenneth had passed away, but his lovely widow Doreen continued to live in hope of witnessing that first flight. Sadly, that was not to be.

As I ponder the imminent flight, my mind is more stirred by memories of a wonderful husband and wife. Two generous people that took me into their home and shared the story of their lives in a way that remains with me still. I felt more like a friend than a biographer, as Mac and I would sit by the fireplace, sipping on tea and chatting. All the while my tape recorder's wheels would steadily turn until a tell-tale click would remind me that it was time to change the tape. They were hours that I still treasure.

And when Mac was gone, I would visit Doreen, often with my children. She could be found sitting by the sunny window at the front of their home as I drove up the driveway. She managed to see the Hurricane under restoration, but unfortunately she did not live to see it fly again.

Writing 'Down to Earth' was special in so many ways. It was my first book, but it was much more. Mac had flown throughout the war and was one of the Battle of Britain's treasured 'Few' and now he lived quietly among us, with his proud heritage only surfacing in the public arena from time to time. It was truly an honour to know Kenneth McGlashan, but I felt even more privileged to call him a friend.

Rest in Peace 'Mac'.

Hawker Hurricane P2902
Image via Aerodynamic Media.

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