Thrust into the front line of war with nothing but the red cross on his shoulder for protection, William Earl was keen to put his memories of service behind him.
Six decades later he finally decided to tell his stories.
Despite turning 102 this week, he has faced one more battle to launch his long-awaited memoirs.
The irony is a medical problem saved William’s life. Were it not for an illness he wouldn’t have seen 32, let alone 100.
William says the same determination that helped him recover from the loss of his beloved Mary and two children to the same heart condition inside seven years also saw him shake off a hip injury in time to make the book’s launch last week.