Diesel Taff - From The Barracks to Tripoli, by Austin Hughes
Published by Anne Loader in 2005, 214 pages. Paperback (N5358)
From the rear side cover: Austin Hughes was born in February 1922 at 'The Barracks', otherwise known as Plas Maen Cottages, near Hope Mountain in North Wales. They were flea-ridden former shippons which had been converted into an L-shaped block of houses. Water often had to be carried from a piped spring about a mile away. After working as a baker, Austin's father became chronically ill and received parish relief. Times were hard for the family....
From childhood, Austin loved heavy machinery and eventually learned to use it. He graduated from driving a dumper truck to a bulldozer and was in seventh heaven. Then in October 1940 his call-up papers arrived: he had to join the Royal Engineers. This was to be an experience which changed the Welshman's life and earned him his nick-name "Diesel Taff". By the end of the war, he'd been to 18 countries.
As a young sapper, he was posted to bomb disposal in Balham, London, working on cranes and other heavy plant during the 1941 Blitz. Soon he was shipped via Brazil, Durban and Bombay to the Middle East - where he helped to build the only 'sinking bridge' in the world - and then with his pals in the 39 Mech. Equipment Pltn. R.E. he worked all types of earth moving equipment, living in the back of his wagon for four years. He travelled thousands of miles across deserts and mountains, transporting heavy plant, building roads and air strips, clearing avalanches and ferrying refugees.
This book gives fascinating insights into life in pre-war rural Wales as well as describing the daily experiences and duties of an R.E. sapper driver in World War 2
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Please note their is a small price sticker on the rear side cover