Readers Comments

Dear Roger and Sandra

What a fascinating book you have written! Congratulations. I didn't just read it but kept referring to the large scale maps of the Gironde and the Internet about Operation Frankton as well as your own website just to get a better picture of your story and the people in it.

Thank you both for your experiences.

Brian Bone (War Crimes Investigation Unit, BAOR, 1945)


Dear Mr and Mrs Downton
..... Your achievement of canoeing the entire Gironde River in France is very impressive and your endeavours to keep the story alive by presenting talks is most commendable ..... 
Yours sincerely
HRH The Prince of Wales 


Dear Roger and Sandra

Your book is, simply, amazing . I can't grab at enough adjectives to describe it; suffice to say that it places the reader in the same vein as Marine Sparks and others ----- as you both prepared yourselves for the journey in France.

Now, after reading your book, I have purchased a 13' kayak and am heading out to the water again. And ... with another friend (a prior service US Navy officer), we are talking about recreating / re-enacting the FRANKTON operation here along the Texas Gulf Coast next year, marking the 73rd anniversary of Hasler's assault on shipping.

One of our gents here called it 'the Bible for understanding FRANKTON.' I tend to agree as In War Heroes Wake answered a lot of questions about prep, gear, from a "your on the ground" perspective, vitally needed to understand the operation.

We decided to purchase a copy for the Houston Maritime Museum to keep on display.

All the best to both of you.

Houston Texas U.S.A.


Dear Roger and Sandra
I am enjoying your handsome book (lovely paper and comfortable-to-read typescript) and having had the pleasure of meeting you both really enhances the reading of your thrilling adventure, interweaving as it does, the glorious story of a dedicated band of men in war-time.  On behalf of Portsmouth U3A, very many thanks for your visit to us.
With kind regards
Jean Poar, Speakers Secretary, Portsmouth U3A


Dear Roger and Sandra,

Just finished reading the book last night.  It was superb!  I too am ex-army and took up kayaking a few years ago.  Your adventure is an absolute inspiration.  Do you still have Sardine?  Love the name by the way, almost like one of the originals. I will be recommending your book to all my friends and fellow kayakers!
Best Wishes

Angus Beattie


Dear Roger and Sandra,

Thank you so kindly for sending me the copy of your book.  I have now just finished reading of your exploits and would like to congratulate you both for having the courage to go through with it and to share the experience with the rest of us through your book. Well done.
Kindest regards
P. Nussle
MOD, Kent


Dear Roger and Sandra Downton,

I have just finished reading your wonderful book 'In War Heroes Wake' and found it so interesting.  I did not want it to end, a truly epic story that needs to be told and retold of the part played by unsung heroes.
Your own adventure was truly remarkable and on such a tidal river and you are to be congratulated on renewing our gratitude to such a small band of brave men.
Thank you again for your book and keeping alive our heroes' true life adventures.
M. A. Gibbs



Hello Roger and Sandra,

At last I have got round to reading your book. I have to say that 'In War Heroes Wake' was unputdownable (if thats a word in Google's spellcheck!) I am full of admiration for the two of you undertaking such an arduous journey in Sardine in such dangerous waters with the speed and power of the Gironde's tides. You have written the story in a fast flowing (sorry pun not intended!) and exciting style and it was made much more interesting by interspersing your trip with the actualities of the journey made by Operation Frankton. Very well done, and I shall tell my paddling friends about the book!


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