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Buffnut453

"Pi in the Sky" by W.F.J. Harvey - what's in the book?

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Buffnut453

Hi Folks,

 

I'm trying to decide whether it's worth investing in Harvey's book "Pi in the Sky".  One of my relatives served in 11 Sqn which shared a number of bases with 22 Sqn (the subject of the book), including being based at Spich in Germany during 1919.

 

I'm wondering if Harvey's book merely covers 22 Sqn operations or if it also includes details of conditions at the various operating bases in the period 1 Sep 1917 thru 31 Jul 1919?  Also, does it have any illustrations that might be relevant to 11 Sqn or its operating bases?  Perhaps someone on the forum has a copy of the book and can advise me?  

 

I'll gladly purchase the book (although it certainly isn't a cheap little volume) if it has details that interest me.  However, I'm reluctant to spend that kind of dosh if the book doesn't have anything of use to me.  

 

Any and all help/advice would be very, VERY much appreciated.

 

Kind regards,
Mark

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seaJane

Google Books brings up only a limited preview of the book but I believe it counts occurrences of search terms accurately: there is one occurrence of "11 Sqn" and one of "11 Squadron" (leaflet-scattering Bristol shot down).

 

The book seems to be in the copyright deposit libraries, so you could try an inter-library loan through your local library?

 

sI

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Buffnut453

Thanks sJ.  Alas, given my location, inter-library loans aren't an option.  

 

I'm less interested in mentions of 11 Sqn and more on descriptions of life on the airfields (since those experiences can be extrapolated for all units based at that location).

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seaJane

Ah, difficult! Sorry.

 

Some of the prices for it on bookfinder.com are indeed ridiculous...

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Buffnut453

Yeah, I know.  It's frustrating because I don't want to pay those eye-watering prices if the book doesn't contain the info I need.

 

I did order Louis Strange's "Recollections of an Airman" because it includes at least one photo of Spich Airfield (Strange visited there in 1919 and flew a few times with 11 Sqn).  However, I could get that book for a tenner which is ok for me to burn if it's useless.  The prices for Harvey's book don't fall into that category.

 

I know a few people on GWF have "Pi in the Sky" so I'm hoping one of them will see the thread and help me out.

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Stuart24

Hello Mark,

I don't think 'Pi in the sky' has what you're looking for.  The actual narrative part of the book is only about 40 pages and is mostly concerned with the unit's operations - well written and interesting, but with only a few snippets on the aerodromes or life on the ground.

Cheers
Stuart

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Buffnut453
8 hours ago, Stuart24 said:

Hello Mark,

I don't think 'Pi in the sky' has what you're looking for.  The actual narrative part of the book is only about 40 pages and is mostly concerned with the unit's operations - well written and interesting, but with only a few snippets on the aerodromes or life on the ground.

Cheers
Stuart

 

Hi Stuart,

 

Thanks for those insights.  Looking at photos of the book, it appears to be quite a slim volume...which is why I was asking about the contents in the first place.  If, as you indicate, it doesn't have much info about life on the airfields, then I'll probably pass on the book (which I'm perfectly happy to do given the prices - it also saves me having to justify the purchase to my Chief Financial Officer!).  

 

Does it contain any particularly interesting photos or are they, too, heavily focused on 22 Sqn?  I would expect the latter but confirmation is always a good thing.

 

Kind regards,
Mark

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Stuart24

Hello Mark,

 

Yes, it's very short although fascinating if you are interested in 22 Sqn!

 

No, there are very few photos and they all seem to be squadron personnel and aircraft.

 

All the best

Stuart

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Buffnut453

Many thanks Stuart.  Clearly it's not worth investing my hard-earned on this particular volume.  I'm only really interested in the period 12 Sep 1918 thru 25 Jul 1919 so the odds of such a slim volume having anything significant of note was always remote at best.  That said, within the period in question, 11 Sqn was based at a fair number of airfields (Le Quesnoy, Vert Galand, Mory, Bethencourt, Aulnoye, Nivelles, and Spich) which, to me, is interesting in its own right as the newly-fledged RAF sought to keep up with the advances made by British ground forces.

 

My Louis Strange book should arrive any day now, so hopefully that will mention Spich.

 

Cheers,
Mark  

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Stuart24

No problem.

It's been too long since I read 'Recollections of an Airman' to remember which airfields get mentioned, but it is a great book and if nothing else you are in for a vastly entertaining read!

All the best

Stuart

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