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Last episode taken from The Wizard No. 1669 - February 8th 1958.

Carried by radio, the shrill note sounded by Will o’ the Whistle was the signal for resistance fighters all over Britain to rise as one against the Kushantis.

D-for-Deliverance Day had come!


When the KUSHANTIS, a cruel and savage Oriental race,

whose emblem was the Yellow Sword, used a sleeping gas and invaded Britain

for the second time, in 1993, they thought they had conquered the country.

But there were Britishers in hiding who were determined to overthrow

the Kushantis. These men operating in secret, were in South Wales,

Durham, Cumberland and Dumfriesshire.

The South Wales region, which the enemy had made a Forbidden

Area, contained a secret arsenal of nuclear explosives to be used against

the Kushantis when the time was right. The resistance fighters there,

used the old West Junction Railway across the Heads of the Valleys as

their means of transport and relied on steam locomotives. The veteran

driver was WILL O’ THE WHISTLE and the name was also used as a

code sign for the group.

The leader of the South Wales resistance fighters was BRADSHAW,

a former major in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He had

taken over when DAVID LLEWELLYN, the original leader, was wounded.

Bradshaw’s plans for D-Day, the day of deliverance from the enemy,

were nearly ready. On their way to a council of war with him, the leaders

from the North were captured by Black Troopers of the dreaded Kushanti

Secret Police and held prisoner at Pontigos, a hamlet on the Hereford Road,

to await the arrival of Kommandant Krait, chief of the Secret Police in South


Bradshaw led a swift raid and rescued the prisoners. Now he and his men lay

in ambush for the Kommandant.


There was snow in the air. Flakes settled on Bradshaw’s shoulders as he stood in the playground of Pontigos school by the side of the main road from Hereford. He had a score of men with him, mostly Welshmen who had seen their homes burned, their people killed by the Kushanti invaders.


Inside the school, Kommisar Peku, the local leader of the Black Troopers, as the Kushanti secret police were known, was tied up with several of his men. Others were dead. “Look, there are headlamps!” exclaimed Ira Jones, a schoolmaster whose family had been murdered by the Kushantis and who lived for revenge. “The yellow rats are coming now.” The glow of headlamps lit up the bare trees at the side of the road. Kommandant Krait, chief of men who were responsible for many terrible deeds of terrorization, was on his way. Just beyond the school was a level crossing where the single line went over the road. The gates had gone. The oncoming Kushantis vehicles swept round a curve. Bradshaw counted six of them. He had men concealed in the playground and in the school building. Bradshaw had ordered that there should be no shooting until he whistled. The whistle he used was a railway whistle. As the vehicles approached, he retreated with Ira Jones into the old cycle shed. He had an automatic pistol, and the teacher was armed with an automatic rifle. The first vehicle was an armoured car with a gun turret. It was followed by a well-known make of British limousine. Behind the limousine was a vehicle that the Kushantis termed the Doom Wagon. It had been brought for the transfer of the British prisoners whom Krait expected to find. The others were troop carrying lorries. The armoured car swept past and, as it stopped, the turret swiveled and the gun pointed at the school. “Do they smell a rat, or is it just a normal precaution?” growled Bradshaw. Out of the lorries sprang the Black Troopers, each man with an automatic carbine. The soldiers were bigger than the average Kushanti, picked men for the task of holding down a subject people. They formed up at the side of the road. From the big limousine stepped Kommandant Krait. And he looked the personification of evil. Unsuspecting, the Kommandant walked towards the gate. Then things happened fast and unexpectedly. Will o’ the Whistle, whose train had been standing in Pontigos Halt, near by, took a hand. With a sudden hiss of steam, heard through the pounding of the jet motors of the Kushanti vehicles, Will drove his engine forward. The locomotive was Number 1400, a small 0-4-2 tank engine—meaning it had four driving wheels and two bogie wheels—but it weighed forty tons and was going pretty fast. There was a tremendous crash as it struck the armoured car, which had stopped on the level crossing, and turned it on its side. Bradshaw put the whistle to his lips, and at its strident note there was a rat-tat-tat of automatic guns as the ambushers rose from behind the school wall and blasted the Black Troopers. With his features twisted with fear, Kommandant Krait bolted towards the school. Ira Jones stepped out of the cycle shed and riddled him with bullets.


The Plan For D-Day


On the main road outside Monmouth was a Kushanti military check point. Arc lamps lit the highway up brilliantly. A vast pole painted yellow and black was the barrier. At the side of the road was the guardhouse. That night Lieutenant Kang was in command.


Headlamps appeared, coming from the north. Two lorries slowed down and stopped at the barrier. The vehicles were loaded with packing cases. The boxes were filled with loot that was to be shipped at Newport on their way to Kushanti. Lieutenant Kang strutted out of the guardhouse pulling on his gloves. A curved sword hung from his belt. He snapped an order. The drivers and the guards of the lorries got down. Kang demanded to see the numerous documents every driver had to carry. Meanwhile the sergeant and troopers of the check point started to make a thorough inspection of the lorries. While this was going on, a big limousine came silently from the north. It passed the lorries. As it stopped in front of the barrier the driver blew the horn. Lieutenant Kang’s head jerked up from scrutinizing the documents. His scowl at being hooted at vanished when he saw the limousine and the driver and passenger in the uniform of the Black Troopers. He screeched urgently for the barrier to be opened immediately. The pole was swung aside and the limousine purred into movement. The Lieutenant drew his sword and raised it in salute. The car accelerated and the driver relaxed. “What did I tell you?” he said, and the voice was that of Bradshaw. “Yes, it was a good idea to bluff them with Black Trooper uniforms and Kommandant Krait’s car,” replied his passenger, who was none other than Ira Jones. “We’ll go as far as Newport and then make our way into the hills,” said Bradshaw. This journey in the captured limousine was to test a plan of Bradshaw’s. You will learn of that plan as you read on. While Bradshaw was driving the limousine on the journey to Newport, the train was carrying the rest of the Welsh resistance fighters and the rescued leaders from the North, back to the Welsh headquarters at Aberporth. The leaders from the North were Edward Barnard, from Durham, Richard Miller, from Cumberland, and William Sinclair, from Dumfries. Though their guide, Jake Allen, the road scout, had told them something of what to expect, they were astonished by the journey. The loco sheds at Aberporth looked like a graveyard for steam engines, but several were in excellent working order. The visitors were taken to headquarters in a hill from which coal had been mined and which was honeycombed with passages and caves. Edward Barnard asked if the arsenal of nuclear weapons was there. “No, it’s three miles away, at Llanwelly,” he was told. Out of the cold and the snow, the newcomers were taken along a warm, lighted gallery to the “room” where David Llewellyn kept his useful vigil in front of a television screen. The Kushantis were having trouble at the transmitter as usual and the screen was blank. Llewellyn, recovering from a severe chest wound, exchanged warm greetings with the men from the North. “You must be starving,” he said, “so we’ll ask our cook to send some food in. We’re not short of good, Welsh mutton.” The meal was quickly served. While they were eating, the television screen flickered and the face of Mr Muchi, a well known Kushanti announcer, appeared. “We do not apologise for the brief interruption,” he hissed. “I will now resume the reading of the Truth Bulletin. As is known, Marshal Sinn, the illustrious President of Kushanti, is residing in Windsor Castle during his visit to subject Britain. It has been decided that in future Windsor Castle will be referred to as Marshal Sinn’s Most Inferior Castle. This Bulletin is to be followed by a special treat for viewers when a film is to be shown of his Exalted Excellency’s Most Superior Castle at Muk, the capital of Kushanti.” Mr Muchi went on to say that snow was forecast for all areas. “That is the end of the Truth Bulletin and we now arrive at our special item,” he announced. “We convey you to Marshal Sinn’s magnificent residence, the jewel of Kushanti, the Most Superior Castle in the world.” Mr Muchi faded. A gong boomed. On the screen a film started to run. “Look at it!” shouted Llewellyn gleefully. It was a film taken on a pig farm and showed a huge pig in the foreground guzzling in a trough of swill. Once more mockery had been made of Marshal Sinn, once again he had been made to lose face. The Kushantis were being driven frantic by the persons who kept cutting into their transmissions with such deadly effect. “It’s wonderful propaganda against the Kushantis,” chuckled Edward Barnard. “Have you any idea who’s behind it?” “We believe it is a former radio producer named Jerry Hobhouse,” replied Llewellyn. “We’re trying to get into touch with him.” It was about an hour later that Bradshaw strode into the room where the council-of-war of the resistance fighters had started. Llewellyn was presiding, and Harold Tudor, the scientists at Llanwelly, had come along to give details of the nuclear weapons he had under his charge in the arsenal. There was an inquiring hush when Bradshaw appeared. He seemed to be singularly cheerful. “I’ve been worrying for some time as how to distribute the explosives about the country,” he said. “But tonight Ira Jones and I have solved the problem. We have covered the best part of a hundred miles in a Kushanti staff limousine. We came across at least ten road blocks, but, as I anticipated, we were never stopped.” “When I heard of your expedition I thought you were taking a big risk,” said Llewellyn. “Not a bit of it, David,” retorted Bradshaw. “The Kushantis fell over themselves in clearing the roads. It’s clear that the high Kushanti officers and officials use captured British limousines, and that the troops would never dare stop such a car.” “Let us get this clear,” said William Sinclair, from Dumfries—“You say that if we use big, important-looking cars we shall be able to smuggle the explosives all over the country?” “That’s what I am saying,” rapped Bradshaw. “We’ll get the cars all right, and I’m sure they’ll do the trick.


Sinn Is Stranded


The council-of-war was resumed in the morning, another wintry day. One valuable piece of information soon came out. Edward Barnard stated that he had contracts with small. But determined groups of secret fighters in London and Birmingham; Bradshaw himself was in touch with the South of England network that had its centre in Chippenham.


Maps found on dead and captured Kushantis were studied. Barracks, camps, staff headquarters, airfields, communication centres, secret police buildings and naval installations were marked for destruction, either by delayed action bombs or rockets. “I’m sure of one thing,” said Barnard at the end of a long session, “that we’ve only got to light the torch for the country to rise and finish the work that we’ve started.” “Yes, and we’ll make it some torch!” retorted Bradshaw. That Bradshaw was right in his theory about the cars was shown when the northern leaders employed the limousine for their return journey, and were often saluted by Kushanti guards—but never stopped! Pontigos was selected as the point to which the explosives were taken by train and where they were picked up by cars. Will o’ the Whistle and the other railwaymen were kept busy. The weather was favourable. The clouds were low and there were frequent falls of snow to reduce visibility. On a night in late February, Bradshaw, Llewellyn and Ira Jones were in Bradshaw’s office. On one wall was a map of their region, and on another a new map of the British Isles had been painted. Red squares marked the spots that were to be attacked. When the preparations were completed in a particular place, a blue circle was painted round the square. There was a phone in the office. It was connected to the Newport Exchange, and occasionally an operator named Roberts risked his life to speak. It was an acute risk he took because the operators were closely watched by Kushanti supervisors. All of the resistance fighters gave a start when the phone started to ring. Bradshaw took the receiver. “Will o’ the Whistle,” he said using the code name. The line was alive, but at first there was no answer. He heard background noises and he thought he detected some Kushanti voices. Then he heard a whisper: “This is Roberts! Hold on! I’ve some very important news for you!” He broke off. Bradshaw, his expression intent, again heard Kushanti voices in the background. As they receded, Roberts spoke again. “Marshal Sinn’s train is held up by the snow at Pontypool Road,” he whispered. “The snow has fetched the overhead wires down, and it is stuck. He was on his way from Lancashire to Cardiff, but the train will not move till the blizzard stops.” There was a click and the line went dead. “Get Will o’ the Whistle,” Bradshaw rapped at Ira. “There’s a chance of scuppering Marshal Sinn himself!” Ira uttered a yell and dashed out. Bradshaw told Llewellyn what Roberts had told him. “Ah, it’s not the first holdup they’ve had in winter since they electrified the main line from Newport to Shrewsbury and the North,” stated Llewellyn. “I presume Marshal Sinn was on his way to Cardiff to arrange four our obliteration, eh?” Bradshaw’s eyes gleamed. “We’ll obliterate him if we can get through, Dave,” he declared. “I’ve always maintained that Marshal Sinn is the kingpin of the Kushanti regime, and that if we can get him the others will be a good bit easier to lick!” “Perhaps the enemy has been delivered into our hands,” said Llewellyn tensely. The sturdy figure of Will o’ the Whistle, the veteran engine driver, appeared in the doorway. Bradshaw repeated the news and it was received with a scoffing laugh by Will. “Bah, their tram cars are no good when the weather gets a bit rough,” he jeered about the diesel electric trains. “Will o’ the Whistle believed that steam trains were the best. “But can we get through, Will?” demanded Bradshaw. The West Junction line had formerly extended to Pontypool Road. The end of it was now at Pontymeeth, up in the hills and something like two miles from the main line station. “I’ve three engines in steam,” said Will o’ the Whistle. “With a snow plough fixed on the first of ‘em we’ll get through!” The leading engine was the “Caradoc Grange” with Will o’ the Whistle at the regulator, and Bradshaw acting as the fireman. The second locomotive was a mixed-traffic engine, a mogul. The third was a tank engine. There were a hundred resistance fighters in the train of six coaches and vans. David Llewellyn was among them. He had said that nothing would keep him away. Bradshaw had become familiar with the duties of a fireman while on his frequent footplate trips with Will o’ the Whistle. He opened the main injector to feed water to the boiler. The train went pounding along with a mighty display of steam power. A spray of fine snow was rising on either side as the snow plough cleared the rails. When they were seven miles out from Aberporth and approaching Caerglint, a mountain village, Bradshaw caught a glimpse of a faint red light and shouted to Will o’ the Whistle. As the driver of the leading engine, Will controlled the brakes. He gave a warning pip on the whistle, shut off steam, and brought the train to a halt. A snow splattered lookout climbed stiffly on to the footplate. “You’ll never get through Caerglint station, Will,” he shouted hoarsely. “The snow has drifted as high as your chimney. Will o’ the Whistle came across the footplate. “We’ll get through,” he said. “Indeed we will! We’ll uncouple the engines from the coaches and charge the drift!” He lowered himself to the ground and went back to bellow his orders to the drivers of the other engines. Trevor Morgan, the guard, had come forward to find out why the train had stopped. He placed his lamp on the ground, ducked under the buffers and wrestled with the frozen couplings until they were free. Will o’ the Whistle looked like a snowman by the time he got back into his cab. Will gave a hoot on the whistle and the others responded. He cracked open the regulator and turned the gear handle. With a rapid exhaust note, Caradoc Grange picked up speed and, behind it, the Mogul and the big tank engine whacked along. Bradshaw peered ahead. Clickety, clack, Clickety, clack! The racing wheels clattered over the rail joints. He made out a mountainous, white bank ahead and held on to the hand rail like grim death. With a prodigious thud the snow plough rammed the drift. Caradoc Grange reeled from the colossal shock, seemed to lift from the rails and then settle again with another tremendous jolt. Snow just about smothered the engines but the wheels kept pounding away and, suddenly started to race. Will o’ the Whistle shut the regulator. “We’re through!” he shouted.


The Avengers Strike


Marshal Sinn, the Kushanti leader, sat at the table in a luxurious saloon carriage. Batteries had been switched on to provide light and heat in the stalled train at Pontypool Road. There was a cigar between the Marshal’s blubbery lips.


Staff officers tip-toed in and out. At the other end of the table General Chang, the actual conqueror of Britain, was permitted to sit. The Marshal studied the map and jabbed his finger on Cardiff. “You will round up all male persons between the ages of fourteen and forty in the city and ship them to our uranium mines in Greenland where we are short of labour,” he said. “It shall be done, Excellency,” answered General Chang. “Now we will discuss the campaign against the rebels,” Sinn said. “Make a note of this—” The door opened behind him. “Shut the door!” he roared, “I am in a draught!” General Chang uttered a gasp, and when Marshal Sinn looked over his shoulder he saw a man with blazing eyes, white hair and a soaked khaki uniform. Gun in hand, Ira Jones advanced slowly. Behind him towered Bradshaw and Llewellyn was there as well. The numerous Kushanti sentries had been overpowered. The cigar fell from Marshal Sinn’s fingers. “I am going to kill you,” said Ira Jones quietly. General Chang snatched for the pistol in his holster. Bradshaw’s gun fired and the Kushanti Commander-in-Chief crashed lifeless across the table. Marshal Sinn flopped out of his chair and screamed for mercy. He had never in his life shown any. He received none from Ira Jones.


On a morning two days later Will o’ the Whistle held down the whistle cord of Caradoc Grange, and the sound was picked up by a microphone. The scream of the whistle was heard from all wireless receivers switched on in Britain, for Jerry Hobhouse, with whom contact had been made, had arranged to cut into the Kushanti transmissions from his secret station. The Kushantis had not announced the death of Marshal Sinn, but the news had spread all over the land. The whistle screeched and it was the signal for action, for D-Day, the day of deliverance. All over Britain the nuclear bombs and warheads exploded in the Kushanti strongholds. With guns and rockets the enemy was assailed. Their three biggest aircraft carriers lying in Portland Harbour were blown to smithereens by nuclear limpet bombs fixed to their keels by British frogmen. Not a plane took off. So complete were the plans of the resistance fighters that every airfield was obliterated within five minutes of Will o’ the Whistle blowing the whistle. The people rose in every city, town, and village. In every place the cruel Kushanti bullies and brutes were hunted down and killed. A week later the Royal Train ran towards London bringing the Queen back to her capital from where she had been kept in safety. It was not an electric train, it was not hauled by a diesel locomotive. The decorated engine that pulled the train was the City of Truro, the old record breaking steam engine, gleaming like new instead of being an old lady of over ninety. Bradshaw rode on the footplate. With him was David Llewellyn. Bursting with pride and with his eyes glistening, Will o’ the Whistle drove Her Majesty back to London.



Will O’ the Whistle 18 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1652 - 1669 (1957 - 1958)

© D. C. Thomson & Co Ltd

Vic Whittle 2007