After the death of their British-born Grandma Gladys in 2021, siblings Claudia and Lance took a sudden interest in the Canadian fianc 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.