Book Spotlight: Blitz Pams by John Orton

Blitz PAMs bragB.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree


Britain in September 1940 has seen the retreat from Dunkirk, and the entry of Italy into the War. The RAF has withstood all that the Luftwaffe could throw at it in the Battle of Britain, but the German Blitzkrieg is just starting. The first bombing raids have hit South Shields and the town prepares for worse to come.

The Police need younger PAMs (Police Auxiliary Messengers) to be ready to take messages on their bikes in the event of a raid and if the phone lines are down. Mossie Hamed, grocery delivery boy, is one of the volunteers who become the Blitz PAMs. Although, in his own words ‘not ower clever’, Mossie tells how the next eighteen months change the lives of him and his ‘marras’ and of the many other unsung heroes on the home front.

“Blitz Pams tells with astonishing vividness and compelling verve a story from a forgotten world – a North Eastern town during the Blitz. John Orton makes this lost world real again. Through the voice of the narrator, he succeeds in recreating the life and struggles of young people in conditions where they could feel they were making a difference. Anyone who wants a fresh look into what it means to live in a time of crisis will enjoy this arrestingly well written book.”

John Gray – (Author of ‘Straw Dogs: thoughts on humans and other animals’)

About Author

John Orton II

John was born in 1949 in South Shields, England and after reading Law at Oxford University followed a career as a Solicitor in local Government.

Married with three children John, now retired, lives in Portishead, near Bristol where he divides his time between writing, playing old style piano and gardening.

Tracing his family history led John into a growing interest into the social history of his home town, South Shields – he now enjoys writing ‘faction’ – ficiton based on fact – in his series ‘Tales from Old South Shields.’

John’s first book ‘The Five Stone Steps’ is also a BRAG Medallion winner.


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