Apologies for the delay

You may have noticed that there has been a delay since the last post on this blog. My apologies, but I have a good reason for it. Some seven weeks ago, I had what in medicine is called a hemorrhagic stroke. I am very lucky in several respects: the stroke happened in my house in Dublin at about 9.45 pm on the evening of Thursday 12 January 2023, so my wife Jacqui was sitting with me while we watched TV together; Jacqui had the foresight to call for an ambulance immediately; my house is less than ten minutes drive away from one of Dublin’s finest hospitals, St James’s; and a skilled medical ambulance crew arrived within about 20 minutes. I remember the two crewmen asking questions and that I was able to speak to them. To be honest, I don’t remember a lot after that, except that I was taken to James’s and, after initial treatment, on to Beaumont Hospital, and then a few days later back to James’s.

I have been in hospital for almost seven weeks altogether, and have received what can only be described as top-class treatment by the Irish medical service. Last weekend, I was allowed home for three nights for the first time, and hope to be allowed home permanently before the end of this week. I will be writing more about this in due course on my personal blog, and will add a link here when it’s complete.

However, I would now like to announce here the project I had been working on since last summer, my new book, Guy Gibson and his Dambuster Crew, to be published later this year by The History Press. Because of all the new information that emerged during my research, I didn’t finish the final draft until the middle of December 2022 (some two months after the original date agreed!) and my editor Amy Rigg and I then agreed that publication would take place in September 2023. Here is the publisher’s page. 

I will write more about this new book next week, so please keep an eye on this blog. (Go to the Follow Blog By Email link opposite to get an automatic notice whenever there is a new post on this blog.)


49 thoughts on “Apologies for the delay

  1. Patrick February 27, 2023 / 7:14 pm

    Get well soon!

    • Mary and Graham Gough February 28, 2023 / 9:06 am

      Get well soon and I look forward to your new book.

  2. Chris Leworthy February 27, 2023 / 7:24 pm

    Happy to hear about the book, but even happier to hear that the healthcare was so good and that you are recovering. Long may it continue!

  3. Nigel Favill February 27, 2023 / 7:26 pm

    Charles, goodness gracious, what a very scary couple of months and we hope you are on the mend. Working in the industry I know what a daunting time this can be for the patient and are really pleased you are going in the right direction. Looking forward to the new book and we hope to see you both in May. Orange juice on me .. 😂. Take care …

  4. Nigel February 27, 2023 / 7:33 pm

    Very best wishes for a speedy and full recovery, Charles. And congratulations on your new book!


  5. Alan Drew February 27, 2023 / 7:36 pm

    Charles – best wishes on your recovery – you have done so much to keep the Dambusters legacy alive – your efforts are deeply appreciated.

  6. Ann Taylor February 27, 2023 / 7:37 pm

    Take Care Charles. All the best for your recovery. Sounds as though you are very lucky.

  7. Malcolm Peel February 27, 2023 / 7:39 pm

    So sorry to hear your news, Charles, but glad to hear you seem to be well on the way to recovery.
    All the best

  8. Jenny Elmes February 27, 2023 / 7:40 pm

    First of all I wish you good health and an excellent recovery from your recent attack. Secondly best of luck with your new book which I am sure will be full of interest to us all.

  9. glbainbridge February 27, 2023 / 7:45 pm

    very sorry to hear your. Hope get better soon

  10. Paul Walker February 27, 2023 / 7:56 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery ❤️‍🩹. Good luck with the new book!

  11. Jan February 27, 2023 / 7:58 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, best wishes

  12. richard farrington February 27, 2023 / 8:05 pm

    Get well soon Charles

  13. Mary February 27, 2023 / 8:09 pm

    Wishing you a fast return to full fitness. All the best to you Charles.

  14. Norman Wells February 27, 2023 / 8:15 pm

    Charles – I am so sorry to hear of your recent stroke, but glad to know you’ve had the best of care.

    I am at risk of a stroke myself, but don’t imagine the beleaguered NHS could provide me the same level of response. Perhaps I ought to take advantage of my dual nationality and move across to Ireland!

    I wish you a full and speedy recovery.

    Norman Wells

  15. Colin Manley February 27, 2023 / 8:44 pm


    It sounds like a good recovery.

    My best wishes to you.




    • Ian Gray February 28, 2023 / 11:54 am

      Wishing you well Charles

  16. Allan Hillman February 27, 2023 / 8:49 pm

    Wishing you a speedy full recovery, and thanks for keeping us updated on your new book

  17. Andrew Helson February 27, 2023 / 8:57 pm

    No apology needed. Take the very best care of yourself and I hope you’re feeling a little better soon

  18. John Jackson February 27, 2023 / 9:20 pm

    Sorry to hear your news, I wish you a speedy recovery. Great to hear of your forthcoming book. Take care

  19. Tony Knight February 27, 2023 / 9:21 pm

    Glad you are okay and recovering

  20. VR February 27, 2023 / 9:50 pm

    Sorry that happened to you, must have been an anxious time for you and your wife.
    Glad that you received prompt attention and that you are making progress.
    Very best wishes for your ongoing recovery.

  21. Caroline Howell February 27, 2023 / 10:08 pm

    I hope you make a full recovery. You and your wife must have been pretty frightened. Best wishes, and I look forward to your book in due course.
    Take care,

  22. Rod Bowles February 27, 2023 / 10:27 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and it’s lovely that you quite rightly praise the Irish medical services
    Get well soon and looking forward to the book Charles

  23. mg0045 February 27, 2023 / 10:57 pm

    Welcome back Charles,

    A very worrying time for you and yours.  Best wishes for your future health and the forthcoming book. 

    Kind Regards



  24. sally dudley February 27, 2023 / 10:58 pm

    Wishing you all the best for a full recovery and good health in the future – Sally Dudley – I have been fascinated by 617 from when I was 11 (in 1954) and look forward to your posts.

  25. david.nunn20 February 27, 2023 / 11:33 pm

    Really sorry to read of your stroke but relieved you seem to be pulling through. Treatment sounds brilliant. Good job you don’t live in the UK at the moment.  All the best for continued and complete recovery.David NunnSent from my Galaxy

  26. Sylvia Prosser February 27, 2023 / 11:36 pm

    Wishing you a safe and healthy recovery.

  27. Guy Gibson February 28, 2023 / 12:41 am

    Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery( really looking forward to iour book!

  28. gillaroo1 February 28, 2023 / 12:45 am

    Every good wish for full good health very soon. Look forward to your new book.

  29. warren February 28, 2023 / 4:10 am

    wishing you a full recovery Charles , and looking forward to your new book .

  30. Colin Murdoch Barron February 28, 2023 / 4:25 am

    Sorry to hear about your stroke. It sounds as though you are making a good recovery. My wife had a very severe stroke in 2011 and only made a partial recovery and I have been her carer ever since.

  31. simon storey February 28, 2023 / 7:38 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Charles.

  32. Clive Smith February 28, 2023 / 7:56 am

    Wishing you a full recovery Charles and I look forward to your new book going into print.

  33. Mr Robin Pearn February 28, 2023 / 12:20 pm

    Hi Charles,

    So sorry to hear of your medical emergency and pleased that you are getting on well.

    In 1991, my wife suffered a stroke at age 43.

    She recovered well, thankfully and is still with me,

    I have been a supporter of the RAF Memorial Flight since 2001.

    In 2007 and 2008, I went with a Dams Tour, to Holland and Germany and enjoyed it thoroughly’

    Author Chris Ward came with us and we visited all of the crash sites and met some lovely people.

    At the Ottley memorial in 2007, we were surprised to find a table set out, with drinks etc.

    The memorial had just been restored, after it had unfortunately started to sink into the mud.

    We received a warm welcome, by some local people.

    They had heard on the grapevine that we were coming to visit and delayed the re-dedication of the memorial until we arrived.

    A priest carried out the ceremony and local historian Rita Kreinfeld made a speech, welcoming us.

    Gunter and Marianne Borstelmann a local couple, had looked after the memorial for many years.

    They helped to get the memorial restored and Marianne had baked us a cake, to celebrate.

    We even made a mention in a local newspaper and the staff at our hotel translated a copy for us.

    One day, we were taken to Steenbergen Cemetery, to see Guy Gibson’s grave and the grave of Jim Warwick, his navigator alongside.

    Jan and Conny Van den Driesschen met us and we laid a wreath at the grave.

    Jan has Gibson’s silver Lancaster in his care, presented to him, to thank him for looking after the graves, for so many years.

    The model, is the one of the Lancaster, which was presented to Gibson by Avro after the Dams raid.

    In 2008, I got to hold the Lancaster model myself, at Jan and Conny’s flat.

    My best regards to you and get well soon.

  34. Priscilla Littmoden February 28, 2023 / 1:39 pm

    Wishing you well Charles

  35. Melvin Chambers February 28, 2023 / 6:02 pm

    Dear Charles & Jacqui, wishing you both well after such a traumatic experience. Special wishes to you Charles for a speedy recovery. Your good health is paramount. Hope to see you soon, Love & best wishes from Den Ham

  36. David King February 28, 2023 / 7:04 pm

    Hello Charles so pleased you are on the way to recovery. It is a very worrying time for both you and your family. But having the very best medical attention is a great comfort and piece of mind. My wife Diane had a stroke a week ago and is still in hospital. Luckily it is not as severe as some. She will be having an operation, Hopefully to relieve the blood clot. I look forward to September and your new book release. My thoughts are with you and your family. Look after yourself. Best wishes. David.

  37. Patricia Spafford... February 28, 2023 / 7:43 pm

    So very sorrybut hoping that you are much better now,andthat you will keep on reclaiming your health a s a p Take things easy and don’t rush yourself.

    • Patricia Spafford... February 28, 2023 / 8:08 pm

      My cousin is on that photograph He is holding attached bags and is on the way up and is close to th e way into the plane.perhaps third to the doorway His name Frederick Michael Spafford.

  38. Arthur van Beveren February 28, 2023 / 7:49 pm

    Dear Charles,

    Glad to hear from you again and take time to recover!

    Best regards, Arthur

  39. Patricia Spafford... February 28, 2023 / 7:52 pm

    Hoping that you areback to good health very soon,please take great care and you are in my thoughts

  40. Patricia Spafford February 28, 2023 / 8:11 pm

    Thanks so much for all that you are doing

  41. pjsnk March 2, 2023 / 8:27 pm

    Dambuster’s are “”GO”” – stay good! From son of Dambuster!

  42. Alessandra Vitale-James March 3, 2023 / 12:07 am

    Dear Charles,
    I am so sorry to read of your recent stay in hospital but also very pleased to read that your recovery is moving in the right direction and you will be home soon.
    Thank you for advising of your new book. My husband and I shall look forward to its release and of course will support.
    Wishing you a speedy return home and full recovery.

    Best regards
    Alessandra James

  43. Patricia Spafford... March 6, 2023 / 7:00 am

    So very sorry about your backward step with your health. Hoping that you reach a much better place in the near future .GREAT THOUGH THAT YOUR FEELING MUCH BETTER stay safe and feel better very soon.THANKS andvery best for agreat recovery with no after problems take care

  44. Patricia Spafford... March 6, 2023 / 7:08 am

    So very sorry about your backward step with your health. Hoping that you reach a much better place in the near future .GREAT THOUGH THAT YOUR FEELING MUCH BETTER stay safe and feel better very soon.THANKS andvery best for agreat recovery with no after problems take care my cousin was a aDambuster Frederick Michael Spafford.He was lost on the Dortmund Ems Sortie, and lies in the Reichswald Military Cemetary with his crew. Many thanks and be well very soon.

  45. dangerousdavec March 7, 2023 / 9:57 am

    Sorry to hear about that Charles. I thought you’d been quiet. Hope you’re ok. I will definitely be buying that book!

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