Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
b199
Title
"For Valour"
Genre
Story
Page Count
6
Word Count
1900
Publisher
Modern Reading
Publication Year
1951
Document Types
First-Person Narratives
Uncollected Stories
Topics
Pilots, War, Mothers

The narrator, on a visit to "have a look at the old airfield" some years after the war, visits with the keeper of a cafe with accommodations who purchased the business when her son became a pilot; showing him the medals received after her son was killed over Arnhem, she complains that "I earned the money for him and now he's not here. I didn't care how I earned it--well, you got to earn it somehow." Her tales of countless visiting soldiers, and now commercial travelers, suggest prostitution: "the coy girlishness had gone from the eyes; and on the mauve, crusty cheeks were two small rows of scars where the rings had bitten hard on the flesh." In a style reminiscent of Bates "Flying Officer X" stories. In Modern Reading (No. 20, Winter 1951-52, London: Modern Reading, ed. Reginald Moore).