This is one of the most poignant memoirs I've ever read. Harry Smith's life is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit to survive, endure, and thrive against all manner of tragedies and obstacles.
Born in 1923 into a disintegrating family in Yorkshire, Harry endured a life of hard, painful, searing poverty. He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1941 to escape the dreariness and hopelessness he had known up to that time. He learned to be a wireless operator and spent most of the war in the UK. It wasn't until early 1945, as the War in Europe was winding down, that his unit was sent, first, to Belgium, then Holland, and finally, Hamburg (Germany), where he experienced VE-Day (May 8th, 1945). Subsequently, Harry stayed on in the RAF in the early postwar years as part of the British occupation forces. Hamburg was where Harry found love and happiness, as well as many challenges that tested his relationship with a young German woman, whom he later married.
This is a remarkable story, told by a man who struggled and won, despite the odds, against adversity.