SUNDIAL HOUSE PRESS
GAS MASKS, GALAXIES AND TIME
In GAS MASKS, GALAXIES AND TIME, David Forsyth describes in vivid detail the events and restrictions of his wartime childhood and early years.
Then contrasts with today some aspects of running a home (heating, clothes washing, etc), a child’s life (rationed chocolate, fewer toys, but greater freedom), and public dress codes.
He pictures the impact on his life of his father’s return home after six years of war, with tales of his own childhood and extraordinary war experiences (England and Africa), and his invaluable guidance on attitudes and thinking, by both example and advice.
'Time and the Universe’ puts into perspective a retirement study of the Universe, Solar System, geology and evolution – a lifelong desire – appreciating the value of factual knowledge after a broad education (History and Medicine at Oxford) and a practical medical career (RAF and GP).
Finally, he applies this rational approach to satisfactorily conclude years of rumination on religion.
Price: £9.99 | Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-908274-50-2| Dimensions: 210×148mm |
Page Extent: 162 (plus 47 photos and illustrations) | Publication Date: 20 May 2016
To watch an interview with the author please click here
The Cover (Back, Spine & Front)
From the Introduction by David Forsyth:
This is not an autobiography. It is a collection of reminiscences and the thoughts that follow them. After chance recounting of stories from the past I have often been met with the encouraging remark: “You should write that down, or it will be forgotten!” So in the end I felt constrained to do just that.
Detailing how I remember life in the War (from my own perspective), and the years immediately after it, led to thinking about how things have changed since then. The contrasts simply had to be made and emphasized.
[A point of interest: when I recently swapped memories with my cousin, with whom I lived and shared my childhood throughout the War, she found that she gave prominence to memories that were different from mine, and suggested that perhaps boys and girls viewed events from different angles.]
When I was nearly six my father returned from the War, and for the first time became a part of daily life. I explain the impact this had on what had been a rather narrow and settled experience up to that time. It occasioned a blossoming of thought and a new awareness of so much that existed. My horizons were opened wide.
Rightly shielded from it for so many years the recent War now became a fascinating and exciting reality. As any boy would do I eagerly devoured knowledge about guns, tanks, ships and ’planes and the roles of the three Services.
This awakened desire ‘to know’, and to know in detail, has been with me ever since: not just the headlines and sub-headings, but also the substance.
All my subsequent studies and career have brought home to me the importance of factual knowledge, and of the reasoning both to discover it and to evaluate and make use of it. My studies were a deep and broad education: a Major Open Scholarship in Modern History to Merton College Oxford; three Degrees in Modern History, Medicine and Surgery at Oxford; and a Diploma in Obstetrics. My career was as a Medical Officer in the RAF for six years, and then as a GP—first, in Worcester, then in Oxford, where I was also a Police Surgeon.
After retirement I satisfied a life-long desire to learn about everything around me, delving into Geology, Botany, Evolution, and the latest information about the substance, history and future of the Solar System and the whole Universe.
Hence my book on ‘Time’ to put it all into perspective.
So finally a reasoned approach to religion in general, the gradual crystallizing of my thoughts after much consideration over the years.
"TIME was the first part of the book to be written; this provided a framework to which everything could be related. My brother suggested that it might also be useful to others.
So TIME was privately printed and circulated. It is in plain English with no formulae. It met with great acclaim." The author
Readers' Comments on TIME:
“…has been read from beginning to end with great interest. It puts such items as ‘Black Holes’ which we are constantly hearing about in their proper context and makes sense of them. There are individual treatments of items like Longitude… but no overall treatment like yours, as far as I know.”
“I read it straight through and it is eminently readable. As a non-scientist I was not tied up with any difficult words.”
Dr. J.R.L. Highfield
Former History Tutor, Merton College, Oxford
“I think that your book is very good and should be part of general knowledge and education – especially physics.
I think I now understand most of the problems using watches, navigation tables and sextants. It became more and more interesting when you came up to Greenwich Time and Atomic Clocks used today…I must admit that I never thought about using time and watches or clocks to estimate or measure the position of a ship at sea…”
“Carbon dating was known to me, but I had never heard of Dendrology, Rock Strata and the many isotopes and their decay to be used in dating.”
Dr. Utz P. Merten
Former President of the World Association of Societies of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and also of the World Pathology Foundation
“We are both most impressed. Your book is just what is needed and should be part of education.”
Dr. M. Hawkins (Chemistry, and Company Finance) and his wife.
“We are both very impressed. It should be published and be used in education.”
Former Prof. J.K. White (Engineering, King's College, London)
Wife, former Headmistress, suggested: that there should be pictures. They have been included in this publication.
“I understand the fascination that led you to write this and agree it is an interesting book to dip into.”
Steve Adams (Head of Science, Shrewsbury School)
“I am enormously impressed by this. I wonder what is coming from you next. When are you completing the Magnum Opus?”
Dr. Mary Faquharson (Former Consultant Chest Physician, London)
Author: her query has now been answered!
“A most interesting publication…A most erudite exposition…full of admiration for the amount of research you carried out.”
C.C. Saunby (Solicitor) and his wife
Reader comment (on the book as a whole).
“I have read all of them (the five parts) with great interest. They are all exceedingly well written in excellent English and most interesting.”
“They are a gripping reading – should interest readers in Kenilworth and Coventry. I compared my own memories of 3+ years of age with yours and found them fascinating. I compared them with my own memory of the Wembley Exhibition of 1924, and my surprise at sleeping in one bed with my elder brother, head to toe and toe to head, on a short visit to an hotel in Lyndhurst with a potty under the bed. The aspects of wartime are all precise, and especially interesting because of your juxtaposition to Coventry. The changes in heating are also precise as are the extreme cold in the house outside the sitting room, the changes to coal and gas, the coal bucket and the gas stoves, and clothes washing and the spring cleaning.”
Dr, J.R.L. Highfield (Former History Tutor, Merton College, Oxford)
Reader Comment on Part Five (RELIGION)
“I was very impressed by your paper – as was Joanna. You managed to reflect what I guess a lot of people must think – however it is one thing to have thoughts and yet another to get them down onto paper in such a succinct way.”
Former Prof. J.K. White (Engineering, King's College, London)
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