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Dear Billie

A World War II Love Story

Dear Billie

Flanker Press


22.00 CAD

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Based on the full text of ninety-two letters written during the Second World War and beyond, Dear Billie tells the true story of a long-distance romance that began during the war and lasted a lifetime. Written by Roland “Vern” Ploughman of Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, to his girl, Lillian “Billie” Wenman of Toronto, Ontario, these letters follow a tank gunner’s experience of training, combat, wounding, and return home. Spanning from January 1943 to August 1945, they begin with nineteen-year-old Vern writing to seventeen-year-old Billie, who a friend insists he must meet.

On August 10, 1944, during "Operation Overlord" and the Battle of Normandy, Vern Ploughman’s tank was ambushed by fire from a Tiger tank in the trees. The Sherman tank was no match. The driver and co-driver were killed instantly, while Vern suffered severe injuries. Billie’s letters to Vern, which he kept on board his tank, were destroyed. Years later, in 2019, Vern and Billie’s daughter, Karen Lundy, discovered the remaining letters among her parents’ possessions. She presents them here for the first time.

Both a family story and a broader social history-- Joan Sullivan - The Telegram --
You don’t hear love stories like this anymore. Billie and Vern did not have much time together before Vern headed off to war but these letters reveal their longing to be together and it is quite poignant; their worries that the other might meet someone else palpable and endearing. Even as young teenagers their connection was very apparent and this intimate look at their relationship is truly beautiful. What makes this even better is knowing that their love endured … this book is written by their daughter! A very enjoyable read full of humor, joy and kinship. It will warm your heart and restore your faith in the power love.-- Nicole Little - Review @ No Shelf Control --

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About Flanker Press
Turning pages since 1994

Flanker Press is a bright spark in the Newfoundland and Labrador publishing scene. As the province’s most active publisher of trade books, the company now averages twenty new titles per year, with a heavy emphasis on regional non-fiction and historical fiction.

The mission of Flanker Press is to provide a quality publishing service to the local and regional writing community and to actively promote its authors and their books in Canada and abroad.

Now located in Paradise, Flanker Press has grown from a part-time venture in 1994 to a business with eight full-time employees. In the fall of 2004, Flanker Press launched a new imprint, Pennywell Books. This imprint includes literary fiction, short stories, young adult fiction, and children’s books.

Flanker Press Ltd.
Unit #1 1243 Kenmount Road, Paradise, NL              A1L 0V8

TF: 1.866.739.4420

Tel: 709.739.4477

Fax: 709.739.4420

The Latest
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Please review our following guidelines for submitting fiction and non-fiction manuscripts to be considered for publication.


We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for our publishing activities.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.