Fighting Through WW2 Podcast

Fighting Through Podcast - Mailing List and Blog

The stories connected to the story

Great unpublished history!

Bill Cheall fought at Dunkirk, North Africa and Sicily, was in the first wave on Gold Beach on D-Day, and finally went to Germany. Since Bill's WW2 memoirs were published, many former comrades and families have come forward with stories and diaries of their own, all forming part of the jigsaw of Bill's war. The aim of these podcasts is to bring the memories to life and honour the soldiers, airmen and seamen who were connected to Bill in some way.

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Paul Cheall

Friday, 9 February 2018

26 The Zilken Letters - veteran exposes the army's best kept secrets!

26 The Zilken Letters

A WW2 veteran tells some of the army's best kept secrets

Great, unpublished history!

"In the hot desert, while on guard, some of us drank the rusty water from the radiators of the Bren Gun carriers.  I would lie on my back - mouth under the drain plug of the carrier! 

"I didn’t get far before Jerry had me in range and dropped a few mortars all around me.  I froze, as each bomb seem to get nearer.  I could feel the heat off them as they exploded …"

"They were all court martialled and two or three were sentenced to be shot!"

Revealing highlights of letters Private Fred Zilken sent to comrade Wilf Shaw over a number of years after WWII. 

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Full show notes at

Below: Fred Zilken proudly wears the 50th Infantry Division TT badge, denoting the catchment areas of the battalion, the Rivers Tyne, Tees and Humber in Yorkshire. Drawn Sicily 1943

Fred Zilken sketch WWII, Sicily

Below: Signal platoon outside Marston House 1941, WW2. Fred top right.

Signal platoon outside Marston House 1941, WW2


 So, a pic of Fed exists after all!Fred Zilken enlarged, WWii

A WW2 history podcast on Bill Cheall's war diary and memoirs.

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