Thursday, May 21, 2020

War Correspondents: Alan Moorehead.

A Great Deal Could Be Written, and It Was.

Book jacket for ECLIPSE by Alan Moorehead, first published in 1945.
Art work by Barnett Freedman. Credit - Imperial War Museum

[The following post is one of my latest entries at "1,000 Men, 1,000 Stories", a site dedicated to the very small percentage of Canadian members of the RCNVR who volunteered to join the Combined Operations organization during WWII. They learned how to operate landing crafts in southern UK and northern Scotland, their first action was the Dieppe Raid, my father was a member from 1941 - 1945 and he and his mates had a first-hand view of Allied landings at Dieppe, N. Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy (depicted in the art work above). 1,000 Men will provide many rare, eye-witness details. Happy hunting, I say.]


There were many war correspondents from Allied countries who contributed greatly to our present-day understanding of World War II. They wrote news articles that were sent by cable to waiting audiences all over the world. Some later wrote books about their experiences, some were even published before the war had ended. Several were killed in action.

I will share only a few lines about several war correspondents in order to get their names on record. I will post a newspaper article attributed to them or list the title of any book(s) that may cross my path. These will be short posts and will contain links to articles or books so that readers can get a clearer picture of the value or quality of the writer's work and efforts.

In this way readers are made more aware of another significant avenue that may lead to information they are seeking. And - better armed - with the help of Mr. Google and libraries, archives, etc., readers may successfully search for material connected to a close family member or relative involved in World War II activities. 

Happy hunting, I say. And if readers wish to share names of war correspondents and provide links to their materials, please submit comments to this site or email me at


Mr. Moorehead was connected to the Combined British Press and I have read a few of his news articles. He wrote ECLIPSE (a copy of which I found at a used book store) about Allied landings in Sicily, Italy, and Normandy, and followed the progress of troops in Italy and France. 

Some of his observations relate to work done by those sailors who manned and operated landing crafts, e.g., the Canadians in Combined Operations, i.e., those men who are at the heart of this blog/site.


"invasion barges - the same mosquito fleet that made the landing
on Sicily..." More news at the above link.

A fine drawing related to the invasion of Italy, as found in ECLIPSE


From ECLIPSE by Alan Moorehead:

          As a correspondent following the armies
     round the world through ten campaigns one has seen
     an immense change take hold of the soldier,
     the ordinary man and woman in the war.
     The clerk from Manchester
     and the shopkeeper from Balham
     seemed to me to gain tremendously in stature.
     You could almost watch him grow
     from month to month in the early days.
     He was suddenly projected
     out of a shallow and materialistic world
     into an atmosphere where there really were
     possibilities of touching the heights, and
     here and there a man found greatness in himself.

     The anti-aircraft gunner in a raid
     and the boy in the landing-barge
     really did feel at moments that the thing they were doing
     was a clear and definite good, the best they could do.
     And at those moments there was a surpassing satisfaction,
     a sense of exactly and entirely fulfilling one's life,
     a sense even of purity,
     the confused adolescent dream
     of greatness come true.

     Page 296

To read more by another important war correspondent, please visit Articles: Canadian Flotilla of Landing Craft in Italy (4).

Unattributed Photos GH

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Now This Is Happening (6)

Four Types of Runs Per Week

Get out the door. Get out the door. AKA - GOTD!

[Introduction: Visitors to IT STRIKES ME FUNNY are welcome to peruse what seems like an endless number of topics or "click on Headings". As well, I maintain a blog about my walking and running habit. I get out the door (GOTD) about 6 days per week, often w a camera, to enjoy a long-term 'fun and fitness' routine. This post is my latest entry on that site. If you have a 'fun and fitness' routine, let me know about it. Maybe we are preparing for the same road race in November!]

Though I do not have to register for the 2020 version of 'Around the Bay 30K' until October 5th, I am already thinking about adjusting my weekly running schedule to accommodate four different types of 'training runs'. 

I have a lot of time to fiddle around with my training because the Hamilton race may not even take place on the scheduled date, November 22, due to COVID-19.

That being said, I do want to be in the best condition possible, i.e., within my limited limits, so that I do not embarrass myself and other members of my age group, those few who are 70-plus and still running around in spandex. Oh yeah, we're out there!

My exercise routine is solid. I walk and run 45 - 50 miles per week on average. And, after walking and running regularly over the last many years, my GOTD habit is also solid, and I am OTD 6 - 7 times per week, every week. As well, I still have good overall running stamina, speed and strength in my legs, left over from my winter - spring training for a virtual half-marathon in April. I just need to fiddle and fine-tune so that I know by the 30K registration date in October that I'm well on my way to being solidly ready for the late November race on a hilly course.

Screen shot - Half-marathon results page. Me in the middle!

    "Neither rain nor sleet nor hail nor thunder nor flying pigs
will keep me from my scheduled rounds. I'm OTD!!"

I will starting fitting in four kinds of training runs per week, starting today:

Hill Run. 6 - 7 mile run with several trips up and down Blackfriars Hill.

Long Run. My longest run at the moment is 6.5 miles or about 10.5 km. Every other Sunday I will add 1.0 or 1.5 km to my longest run (or 0.5 to 1.0 miles) in order to be comfortable with the half-marathon distance my mid- to late-September.

Race Pace Run. I found while training for a spring half-marathon that I was continually comfortable with a steady pace of 5:50 - 6:00 minutes per km. So, once per week I will run 6.5 - 7.5 miles at that steady pace.

Speed Workout Run. 6 to 7 miles in overall length. I will run alternate fast and slow intervals 0.5 km in length (i.e., faster, then slower than race pace) on a measured course, e.g., a high school track or the TVP (multi-purpose, paved path). Initially, during the 'faster' interval, I will aim for "barely faster than race pace", and gradually work toward "15 - 30 seconds faster than race pace," per half km. That being said, speed is not my chief goal, so "barely faster" should work out fine : )

"Hey, let's pass this old guy!" Hey, catch me if you can!!

"You will find me on the TVP 6 - 7 times per week."

Slow and steady wins the race and I know how to stay within my limits. If I can get through the summer with four runs per week (as often as possible), I will really look forward to registering for my tenth "Around the Bay 30K".

Keep healthy!

"Old guy, passing on your left!" (One of my favourite shout-outs while running!")

Photos GH