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& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


With reviews of books that cover these topics


A Passion for Speed

My second book was published by The History Press. If you would like a talk about it, and the opportunity to buy some signed copies, do get in touch via


It is a biography of a fascinating, and very brave, lady. I am very excited about it, and hope you will be too.


ISBN: 978-0-7509-8366-2

Mildred Bruce enjoyed a privileged upbringing that allowed her to search for thrills beyond the bounds of most female contemporaries. She ‘borrowed’ her brother’s motorbike at only 15; she raced at Brooklands in the Twenties against the greats, and took a car 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle; she won the first ever ladies’ prize of the Monte Carlo Rally and succeeded in powerboat racing. With, and without, her husband she secured several motoring records, driving a Bentley for 24 hours at an average speed of 90 mph. Stamina and fortitude were second nature.


Whilst Amy Johnson was receiving global acclaim for her flight to Australia, Mildred learned to fly, and 8 weeks later embarked on her round- the-world flight, becoming the first person to fly from the UK to Japan. Captured by brigands, feted by the Siamese, Japanese and Americans, she survived several crashes with body and spirit intact, squeezed in another romance, and became a glittering aviation celebrity on her return. A thoroughly modern woman, she pushed similar boundaries in her unconventional love life and later became Britain’s first female airline entrepreneur.

"A thoroughly good read that will be enjoyed by an audience beyond those interested in aviation."



"Paul Smiddy ties together all the strands of Bruce's incredibly varied life - motorsport, speedboat racing, aviation and many more - and does so entertainingly."


"This biography shines new light on an amazing life.... What a gal."



Read the foreword by Polly Vacher MBE here

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