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Following the Echoes cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-918839-6
    • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 216 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-918840-2
    • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 216 pages
  • Keywords
    • Real WWII romance,
    • Canadian history,
    • Local Saskatchewan history,
    • WWII Canadian veterans,
    • RAF Bomber Command,
    • RAF Pathfinders,
    • WWII women biography

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Following the Echoes
The Quest to Uncover a True Wartime Story of Love, Loss, and Legacy
by Claudia Fox Reppen and Lance Fox

After the death of their British-born Grandma Gladys in 2021, siblings Claudia and Lance took a sudden interest in the Canadian fiancé Gladys lost during World War II, Wendell “Del” Pierce Drew, a member of the elite RAF Pathfinder Force with Bomber Command who hailed from the tiny farming settlement of Radisson, Saskatchewan. With a couple of old photos and a few anecdotes to go on, the siblings set out to uncover Del’s story, discovering a rich history of people searching for adventure or a better life. From the Canadian prairie to London’s Notting Hill, to the shores of the North Sea and beyond, Following the Echoes uncovers stories obscured by the passage of time and reflects on the ripple effect that the pulling of literal and metaphorical triggers can have on our lives. Exploring the theme of grief, the book recounts an incredible event in Gladys’s life, when her grief over Del suddenly and dramatically resurfaced one day in 1993—forty-nine years after his death—as well as the story of Del’s parents, Albert and Achsah Drew, revealing how they experienced unfathomable loss long before losing their son in the war. This is the first book to examine in depth the fate of Lancaster JB707, which Del and his crewmates were aboard when they disappeared in July 1944, piecing together the events of the last sortie. The reader is taken along the crew’s final moments, even learning who likely pulled the fateful trigger that led to their demise. Finally, the siblings describe how “following the echoes” of incredible coincidences and connections led them to a place of deep awe and admiration, as well as profound gratitude, especially for those in Bomber Command. This is a poignant story of love and loss but also one of a legacy extending into the present, uniting families, friends, and fellow citizens through exploring the richness and tragedy in the lives of those who built Canada into a great nation, and how the Greatest Generation sacrificed to preserve it—lest we forget.

Claudia Fox Reppen is an editor and writer interested in exploring the many nuances of complex issues and preserving freedom of expression through the written word. In 2002, she moved to Ringsaker, Norway, where she currently resides. After learning Norwegian and working many years as a nursing home assistant and middle-school language instructor, she completed UC Berkeley’s Professional Sequence in Editing in 2021. In her free time from freelance editing and writing, Claudia enjoys listening to music and long-form discussion podcasts, cooking, running, and cross-country skiing with her husband. Lance Fox, BA, MLIS, is a librarian with a passion for history (particularly from the Second World War) and genealogy. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (with a major in history) in 2014 and Master of Library and Information Science in 2016, both from the University of Western Ontario. In 2016, he moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, where he works as Clinical Librarian for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. He is also currently serving as the President of the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada. In his free time, Lance enjoys playing and watching sports, watching movies, and spending time with his family.


Claudia Fox Reppen
Lance Fox

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