Lympstone man writes his memoirs to share life with his grandchildren

The front cover of Have I Told U a Story? by Martin Hebridge

The front cover of Have I Told U a Story? by Martin Hebridge - Credit: Martin Hebridge

A Lympstone pensioner has written a two-book series detailing his life so that future generations of his family will always know who he was and is. 

Martin Hebridge, 85, has penned ‘Have I Told U the Story’ - a book in two parts which covers his whole life including time served in the military in places like ZImbabwe and Mozambique. 

The book, which is only intended to be read by his grandchildren, is in two parts – the first covering his life until his return the UK in 1980 and the second containing anecdotes and stories up until the present day. 

Martin wrote the books for his grandchildren so they knew what their granddad did and who he was. 

He said he was brought up by his two grandmothers and didn’t know anything about one of his own granddads. 

Martin said: “I’ve had a strange life story, I knew none of my parents – they died before I got a chance to know who they were. 

“I never knew my grandparents and that was a great miss really. I felt that I lost out and I wanted to make sure my grandchildren didn’t.” 

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Martin was born in Middlesex in 1935 and was just three months old when his dad died. His mum became a Wren in the Royal Navy so Martin saw ‘very little’ of her. 

In the first part of his memoirs, he details how he joined the RAF and served at Cosford near Wolverhampton, at St Mawgan in Newquay and in Ireland. 

Martin ended up on a three-year overseas tour in Singapore where he flew out on jungle trips with the gurkhas. 

In the memoirs, Martin describes proposing to and marrying wife Adrienne and the birth of his children. 

He writes about being in Rhodesia – now known as Zimbabwe – during conflict in the 1960s. 

Martin said he has been overwhelmed by the interest in his book from outside his family. 

He added: “There is no doubt this ‘memoir’ would never have come about had it not been for lockdown; as they say ‘it’s an ill wind that blows no good’.” 

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