Nearer My God To Thee by Linda Parker

Nearer My God to Thee examines the full story of the army chaplains who accompanied the airborne forces to all theatres of war between 1942-1945. The chaplains landed with their troops, by parachute and on gliders, mainly behind enemy lines, and shared the dangers and challenges of operations from North Africa, through Sicily, Italy, D-Day and Arnhem to the crossing of the Rhine.

In the front line of allied action, the chaplains ministered to their men spiritually and materially, performing acts of courage, aiding medical staff, taking services in difficult circumstance and burying the dead.

The book examines the role of the chaplains and their differing experiences. At least two died defending the wounded at dressing stations, several took over leadership of the men in the chaos of battle.

At Arnhem chaplains became prisoners of war as they stayed to look after wounded when the allied troops retreated over the Rhine. Chaplains were present with the SAS in North Africa and in France. The book uses hitherto unpublished material including first-hand accounts and letters to tell the dramatic stories of individuals and the multi-faceted work of the airborne chaplains as a whole. Their story is an important part of the narrative of airborne forces in the Second World War.

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