Home Publication of classic memoir of Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot

Publication of classic memoir of Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot

Press Release: November 18, 2020

One of the greatest ever classics of air warfare, this is a stunning book, an exhilarating, raw, shocking, and profoundly moving as when published during the war’ 
 James Holland
Author, Historian and Presenter 



Publication of a new illustrated edition of ‘The Last Enemy’ by 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron Spitfire pilot Richard Hillary to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. 

Includes a specially commissioned foreword by Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Baron Selkirk of Douglas, whose uncle flew with Hillary and subsequently commanded 603 Squadron in Malta. 


[London, November 24 2020The new Daredevil Books edition of ‘The Last Enemy’ by Richard Hillary is a remarkable read and has rightly been dubbed a classic literary text of the Second World War. It brilliantly portrays the unquestioning bravery displayed by the group of young men dubbed ‘The Few’ by Winston Churchill who prevailed in the skies over England at the start of the war.  

Hillary’s descriptions of flying a Spitfire are gripping as we share both the excitement and frequent horror of close air combat. 

Shot down over the English Channel in September 1940, he is seriously burned and comes under the care of Archibald McIndoe and his pioneering reconstructive plastic surgery. Hillary writes in graphic detail, but with no self-pity, of the operations and pain endured during his long stints in hospital. Hillary’s fluent writing provides us with a riveting narrative. It is easy to forget his youth and that this is his only book. 

‘The Last Enemy’ was originally published in 1942 just seven months before Hillary was killed, aged just 23, flying a Bristol Blenheim in a night exercise. He had been desperate to fly again after his accident, but it was reported at the time he could barely hold a knife and fork as a result of his injurieslet alone fly a bomber.  

This Daredevil Books edition, published in association with Clink Street Publishing features many photographs not seen in previous editions and is available for online order in hardback, paperback, and eBook format at Waterstones, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other international online retailers.  

Books can also be ordered direct at www.daredevilbooks.co.uk where a rare recording of Richard Hillary describing his experiences can be heard. 

Lord Selkirk who wrote the foreword and is also an Honorary Air Commodore of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron has kindly agreed to make himself available for interview 

For more information please contact Toby Hartwell on 078 1236 2238 or at  hello@daredevilbooks.co.uk 

Pictures from top

The Last Enemy Book Cover

Richard Hillary portrait, probably taken following the award of his Wings brevet - The David M. S. Ross Collection;   

Photograph of Richard Hillary as a nine-year-old schoolboy - Richard Hillary Trust at Trinity College Oxford. 

Hillary's face and hand injuries - Special Archives and Collections - University of Columbia via David M.S. Ross.;  


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Toby Hartwell

Tel: 07812362238

Email: hello@daredevilbooks.co.uk

Visit the newsroom of: Toby Hartwell