Fakenham author Bill's book tells a touching tale of war
Bill Littler has had a hectic weekend celebrating his 90th birthday at the Ffolkes Arms in Hillington with his family and he will be celebrating further when his book Letters From a Postman is released on August 31.
Born in 1931 and raised in a London suburb during the early 1930s, Bill followed a childhood ambition by joining the RAF as a boy entrant at the age of 16 in 1947.
Following graduation he served almost 30 years working on three continents, and various places around Europe and the Mediterranean, including Swanton Morley in Norfolk.
After rising through the ranks becoming a flight lieutenant engineer officer he retired at the age of 45 and became a customs officer based in Dover.
Retiring in 1991, he followed a life-long interest in First World War, and obtained occasional work as a tour guide around its battlefields.
Other interests, in family history and painting, led to the writing of two books on the family history, never published but widely circulated within the family.
Now one of his books has been published and Bill, now a resident in William Road, Fakenham, said:" I feel a little bit proud of it at my age. I was apprehensive when I started but it seems to be going quite well. Talking to friends locally and having interest from friends in Fakenham is good."
A member of a ukelele band Bill also has a large family of three children, seven grandchildren ad five great-grandchildren one of whom is 10 days old at the time of writing.
The idea for the book came from his daughter-in-law showing him some letters from her mother's great-uncle penned during the First World War.
Bill said: "The letters were ever so touching, postcards, the embroidered ones they used to send and I read them and thought they were rather nice. I typed it on to my computer and spread it around family to read. I thought the interest in the First World War needs a wider audience so I edited and pruned it and sent it to Austin Macauley publishers."
Bill links the letters from the soldier to his wife together and the final letter shows a prophetic glimpse of the future.
It seems Bill's enthusiasm shown by him being a battlefield tour guide visiting France and Belgium has had an impact, as soon his son-in-law will be coming up to retirement and plans to set up his own tour company, visiting places such as the Somme.
The book is published by Austin Macauley and costs £9.99.