BBC recording of Richard Hillary

Richard HillaryA pilot vividly recounts his experience of being shot down over the North Sea.

‘Hillary had a fine talent for writing and an interest in self-analysis. In this unusually reflective account he recalls the dogfight that was his undoing and gives a dispassionate account of his injuries and thoughts about death as he floated in the North Sea for three hours until he was rescued from the water.’

In listening to this calm, well-spoken account (taken from the first chapter of The Last Enemy), it is his age that particularly strikes me. The mature timbre of the voice belies the injured, lonely 22 year old boy sitting behind the microphone.

Listen to the interview, recorded in 1941.  

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