Gertie's Path

Book 1: ‘All for Overalls’ of The Salvaged Summer Trilogy



The hero, Gertie, is old beyond his years, growing up in a time when there was no such thing as a teenager. Only young boys as eager as grown men to do their bit, to fight for King and Country, however they were able.  This is a story for all those who can remember such times ... and for those who wish they could.


These stories are not designed to be 'gritty' or challenging to read, but warm, easy and entertaining, "like reading your favourite armchair; pick it up, give a deep sigh, snuggle down, and sink into it."


“Just because you’re out of the way, doesn’t mean you’re not in the middle of it!”

The Salvaged Summer Trilogy follow the events in a small English village from receiving news of the rescue from Dunkirk; through the Summer of 1940 and the Battle of Britain, to the London Blitz and Winter; then into 1941 with the arrival of the Americans, through to December with the news from Pearl Harbour. 

A scrawny 14-year old errand boy called Gertie (real name Gerald, but who wants to be called 'Gerry' at the start of the Second World War!), is spurred into action. For a lanky lad with borrowed specs, smelly feet, awkward elbows and big ears, who liked to keep things simple, perhaps Gertie wasn't the most obvious choice as a go-between. But when it came to bringing 'useful errands' to solve unexpected problems, Gertie is brilliant. 


As the local residents adapt to war-time-ways, the old village and the new RAF hospital have plenty of characters and best-intentions between them, but country wisdom and military efficiency doesn't always rub along smoothly!


Plenty in the village had shrugged him off as ‘can’t make him out’. Then the war had started, things had begun to get desperate and they couldn’t afford to waste anything, not even Gertie!  


Gertie hoped he’d have his own shed one day but didn’t mind his mother’s attic until then. ‘Best view in the village from up there’, anyway first he needed to earn those overalls.


Happy to keep himself useful, seldom out of mischief and invariably managing to scoop up the three young ‘salvage scamps’ along the way.  


There are three great ladies in Gertie’s life: the doctor’s housekeeper, Mrs Tweeny, who doesn’t ‘do’ doors and has three newly-arrived young nurses to billet; the church warden’s missus, Aggy, who has a kind word for everyone but is ‘awful fierce’ with her typewriter; and the hospital cook, Mrs Toombs, whose monumental bosom would have been enough to daunt a lesser man.  


But it was Rusty who Gertie adored. 


The three young ‘salvage scamps’ comprised of Walker, a city-quick evacuee, staying with the village-smart Al and his little sister Maze, 5yrs old and country-wiser than all of them.  


Gertie got them organised and Rusty helped steer them ‘safe’.  Each determined to do their ‘bit’ for The Effort. With barrows and buckets Gertie, Walker and the rest of the Scamps run errands and salvage scrap, paper, rags and rubber for The Effort. Managing to enlist the vicar and his church warden, the village shop-keepers and the local farmers into their scrapes along the way.


Gertie is also on a mission up at the House:  there were the new arrivals at the RAF hospital, including Joe the blind Canadian, and Art, who’d received his burns at Dunkirk, and they needed his help to salvage their situations.  No matter what Sarg thought of the idea!


The warnings on the radio and in the newspapers are all about bullets and bombs, but Gertie is going to save the day with his bicycle basket and wheel barrow … and earn his overalls into the bargain!

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