The Machine Gunners

The Machine Gunners

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The Machine Gunners

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Description:
The Machine Gunners is a children's historical novel by Robert Westall published in 1975. It was awarded the Carnegie Medal for that year, and in 2007 was selected by judges of the Carnegie Medal as one of the ten most important children's novels of the past 70 years. A play based on the book has been written by the author, and it has also been adapted for television and radio.

Plot summary

The story is set during the Second World War and deals with a group of children living in the North East of England. Their town, Garmouth, regularly suffers from bomb attacks by the German Luftwaffe. The children make a game of collecting war souvenirs, e.g. incendiary bomb fins and pieces of shrapnel. One of the children, Chas McGill, finds a German He 111 that crashed in the area and takes a fully operational machine gun and over two thousand rounds of ammunition, with the help of a friend, Cyril "Cemtery/Cem" Jones, intending to set up their own fortress. This they build with their friends, including a boy from Glasgow called "Clogger" Duncan, and another boy, nicknamed "Carrot Juice" on account of his ginger hair and freckles. They also team up with a girl called Audrey Parton, and the boy who lives in the house, called Benjamin "Nicky" Nichol. They build the fortress solidly, and name it "Fortress Caporetto" after the World War I battle in which Chas's grandfather fought.

Later Nicky is the sole survivor when his house is bombed out,...
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