Geoffrey Wellum recalls his recovery from the horrors of war

Epping Forest

Epping Forest, Sir Jacob Epstein (1880 - 1959), circa 1945


“On leaving the Royal Air Force after the war I found that I was just not able either to settle down to serving in peacetime or to civilian life. Only the tranquility of long walks into the depths of Epping Forest seemed to give me any peace of mind. I began to accept that so many of my friends and fellow fighter pilots had paid the extreme sacrifice. One day I ended up at High Beech church, a lonely but peaceful little church. Surrounded by forest I relaxed and gave thanks. Surely God was in that place. The long walk home passing The Forest Gate pub a hundred yards from my cottage enabled me to enjoy what I considered to be a well-earned pint.”

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