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Bomb Girls - Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II [Kindle Edition]

Jacky Hyams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

They were the unsung heroines of World War II; the wives, mums and teenage girls, all ‘doing their bit’ for the war effort, clocking in daily to work in cast munitions factories, helping make the explosives, bullets and war machines that would ensure victory for Britain.

It was dangerous, dirty and exhaustive work. They worked round the clock, often exposed to toxic, lethal chemicals. A factory accident could mean blindness, loss of limbs – or worse. Many went home with acid burns, yellow skin or discoloured hair. Others were forced to leave their loved ones and move to live with total strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. Frequently, their male bosses were coarse and unsympathetic.

Yet this hidden army of nearly two million women toiled on regardless through the worst years of the war, cheerfully ignoring the dangers and the exhaustion, as bombing, rationing and the heartbreak of loss or separation took their toll on everyone in the country.

Only now, all these years later, have they chosen to tell their remarkable stories. Here, in their own words, are the vivid wartime memories of the ‘secret army’ of female munitions workers, whose resilience and sheer grit in the face of danger has only now started to emerge.

These are the intimate and personal stories of an unforgettable group of women, whose hard work and quiet courage made a significant contribution to Britain’s war effort. They didn’t fire the bullets, but they filled them up with explosives. And in doing so, they helped Britain win the war.

About the Author

Jacky Hyams is a freelance journalist, editor, columnist and author with over 25 years of experience in writing for mass market magazines and newspapers in the UK and Australia. A Londoner who has spent many years travelling. Jacky's feature writing career was launched in Sydney, Australia, where she wrote extensively for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, New Idea, Cleo and The Australian Women's Weekly. Returning to London, Jacky spent several years as a women's magazine editor on Bella Magazine, followed by six years as a weekly columnist for the London Evening Standard. Her memoir, Bombsites and Lollipops: My 1950s East End Childhood, was published in 2011 and her follow up book, White Boots & Miniskirts, was published in 2013, both by John Blake Publishing. Jacky is also the author of The Real Life Life Downton Abbey, a brief guide to the Edwardian ear, also published by John Blake Publishing in 2011. The Female Few, a look at the Spitfire heroines of the Air Transport Auxiliary, was published by The History Press in 2012.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1915 KB
  • Print Length: 249 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1782194428
  • Publisher: John Blake (5 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EBO1Z4G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,094 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jacky Hyams is a Brighton based journalist and best selling non fiction author. She has been writing for a wide range of mass market newspapers and magazines in the UK and Australia for several years.

Her passion for 20th Century history led to the publication of her two best selling personal memoirs about post WW2 London: Bombsites and Lollipops, published by John Blake Publishing in 2011 and White Boots & Mini Skirts: A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties, published in February 2013, also by Blake Publishing.

Jacky's third historically related title, The Female Few: Spitfire Pilots of the ATA, was published by The History Press in 2012 followed by her unique history of Britain's WW2 female munitions workers, Bomb Girls: Britain's Secret Army, published in 2013 by John Blake Publishing.

Her latest book, Frances: The Tragic Bride, tells the unold true story of the life of Reggie Kray's first wife, Frances Shea, published by John Blake Publishing in September 2014. Based on interviews and documents that have never been made public before, the story provides an original and fresh perspective on life in the Kray Twins' inner circle -- and the troubled life of the innocent young woman at its centre.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and timely book 3 Sept. 2013
Bomb Girls records the stories of nine women who, as young girls, worked in the dispersed Royal Ordnance Factories during the Second World War. Their job was to make the bombs, bullets and other lethal weapons to defeat the Germans, Italians and Japanese in the Second World War. It was an extraordinarily dangerous occupation. The chemicals and explosives were injurious to health and explosively lethal if mishandled. The factories were dispersed around the country to reduce the risk of being bombed, and nearly all the workforce was comprised of young women, some being as young as seventeen. Many left home to do the job, often resulting in serious homesickness, but many also made lifelong friendships, and look back with pride on those years of when they made a substantial contribution to helping Britain win the war. The book contains recent interviews with nine women who are now in their late eighties and early nineties. They were definitely made of the right stuff. It is a pleasure and a privilege to read their histories, most of them having come from very simple backgrounds. It is a deep pity that their contribution to the defeat of the Axis Powers has never received official recognition, so this book will, perhaps, persuade Whitehall and the Government to honour the women whilst we still have time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nostalgic 22 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
My Mum was so pleased to get a copy of this book especially as she is mentioned in it in Laura's story.
Gave me an insight into what the girls working in munitions went through and nice it was in their own words.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book on a sadly forgotten part of WW2 19 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book tells The stories of some of the thousands for women who worked in munitions factories in the Second World War. It starts with a few chapters giving an introduction to munitions factories, and how and where they operated, and then tells individual stories of some of the women who worked in them - the vast majority of the workers were women.
The book is very good as far as it goes. Unfortunately, for me it has two major downsides. Firstly, it is written by someone who is campaigning for recognition for the people who worked in the factories. Now I have no problem with that campaign; their contribution was not, and even now has not been, fully recognised. However, it does get a bit tiring when the campaign is mentioned for the umpteenth time.
Secondly, the individual stories become a little bit repetitive. I realise that the number of women involved who were still alive when the book was written was dwindling all the time, but they all seem to come from the same background, and their stories are all very similar. You can almost predict what is going to be said.
Having said all that, this is an important book, because it does give a voice to these women, and puts on record what they did and what they achieved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great look into britain's history 27 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely outstanding, and the women who sacrificed so much during the wars should be applauded. It was a fantastic insight into British history. It was harrowing in that if you were a 20/21 year old single female, you would more than likely be sent to work in the bomb factories, and the danger of the factories was well known. It is a truly inspiring read and I would recommend it to anyone because these women should be remembered just as much as the fallen soldiers. Complete and utter heroes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique experience 20 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is great.
I found it particulary interesting because my mother was in the orderance factory during the war.
It gives you an insight of what they put up with to enable this country to win the war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lest We Forget! 5 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My mother was a Bomb Girl. This book confirms everything she told me, including her feelings of being forgotten by the Nation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating real life events 5 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This very interesting book is a collection of reminiscences from munitions workers during WW11. They really are unsung heroes, their work was highly dangerous and hazardous to their health. The overriding aim was to produce a variety of shells, bullets and bombs for the Forces - at any cost, wether it be lives or personal happiness. Naively, I had no idea so many women were conscripted into this industry and I'm sure there were a lot more accidents than were officially recorded. These women certainly deserve official recognition of their contribution to the War Effort, they were in as much danger as any soldier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book but what about the girls in the munitions factories in WW1? They didn't get thanked either. They earnt good money for the time, better than people in other jobs, so were far better off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars reminder of the huge war effort borne by women
Served as a reminder of the huge war effort borne by ordinary women without complaint! And how necessary they were for essential jobs even. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravery recognised at last.
Jackie's book pays tribute to an often disregarded set of brave women without whom the war effort would not have succeeded. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent item - fully recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by Lorna Townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read if your interested or have relatives who work in it.
Published 3 months ago by Stephen P Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Bomb Girls
We have all seen the TV program about Munition Workers though the Second World War based in Canada this is the real thing in the words of the people who were there across the UK
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A very slow and dated book. May be of more interest to keen gardeners.
Published 4 months ago by L. J. B.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 4 months ago by jean hockey
3.0 out of 5 stars Very interesti g
Very interesting, helped me to expand my knowledge of recent history
Published 6 months ago by J. Rushbrooke
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle book
This isn't the sort of book I thought it would be. It is more like non-fiction and I like a story about individual people.
Published 7 months ago by Marjorie Morgan
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