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Dunkirk to D-Day

A Commando’s War



Jeff Steel and Linda Adlam Nash

Newport, NSW: Big Sky Publishing, 2022

Paperback   360pp   RRP $32.99


Reviewer: Adrian Catt, February 2023


This lively, engaging biography charts the military career of hero Bill Adlam MM, a courageous and meteoric ‘riser-from-the-ranks’, during the Second World War.

Commencing his military service in 1935 with the Territorial Army, Bill Adlam transitioned into the 5th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1939, whence forth he was deployed into a military action for which he was awarded the Military Medal for his conspicuous and gallant actions. Not unnoticed by his peers, Adlam was soon to pursue the newly-created mustering of Commando, which saw him in action with No.4 Commando. Bill’s experience in both successful actions, together with his substantial combat exposure, saw him ‘head-hunted’ for an NCO role and trainer of Commando squaddies.

Later Adlam deployed as a leader of a Pioneer Clearance Force in the invasion of Normandy, France in 1944.  It was there that Adlam was promoted in the field to captain, whilst simultaneously enduring the terror and horror of war - a remarkable and well-deserved achievement!

The story of Captain Bill Adlam MM is captivating and laid-bare from the start through to the finish, and with its emphasis on the man, his achievements, and experiences of bloody-conflict, is almost as inspirational, uplifting, and true as the man himself.  Remarkable!

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