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Bomb Girls: Britain's Secret Army: the Munitions Women of World War II [Hardcover]

Jacky Hyams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 11.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Aug 2013
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 vast munitions factories, helping make the explosives, bullets and war machines that would ensure victory for Britain. It was dangerous, dirty and exhausting 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 one 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 an 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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd (5 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782194428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782194422
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jacky Hyams is a Brighton based journalist and non fiction author who has written extensively, on a wide range of topics, for many of the leading mass market newspapers and magazines in the UK and Australia for several years.

Her passion for 20th Century history led to the publication of a best selling personal memoir about London in the 1950s, Bombsites and Lollipops, published by John Blake Publishing in 2011. This was followed by an exploration of the world of the Edwardian stately home,The Real Life Downton Abbey (also published by Blake) in 2011. Jacky's third historically related title, The Female Few: Spitfire Pilots of the ATA, was published by The History Press in 2012.

Her followup memoir to Bombsites and Lollipops, White Boots & Miniskirts: A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties, was published by John Blake Publishing in February 2013.

Jacky's history of Britain's WW2 female munitions workers, Bomb Girls: Britain's Secret Army,the Munitions Women of WW2, was also published in 2013 by John Blake Publishing.

Her latest book, Frances: The Tragic Bride, the true story of Reggie Kray's first wife, is due to be published in September 2014.


Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and timely book 3 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover
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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9 of 9 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Very interesti g 5 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting, helped me to expand my knowledge of recent history
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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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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle book 26 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique experience
This book is great.
I found it particulary interesting because my mother was in the orderance factory during the war. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Mrs. Catherine Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Bomb Girls
I loved this book - it was one of those that I couldn't wait to get back too too continue the tale. It certainly highlights the "forgotten army" of the war and made me... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Maris
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
I thought this a good read, but very repetitive throughout, I remember the Black-outs myself, though I was only a young girl. Read more
Published 2 months ago by ocean2
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Love the book easy to read really enjoyed it girls to young women and hard proves women can do hard work to help they country well happy eith the book
Published 2 months ago by deborah benson
5.0 out of 5 stars A real tribute
A must read book showing the silent hero's of our country who need to be recognised well done to all and a big thank you.
Published 2 months ago by Jeannie Lynne Lovelock
5.0 out of 5 stars How interesting
Brilliant book couldn't put it down is there more books like this it goes to show us women can do anything
Published 2 months ago by Hilary
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating real life events
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... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ailsa Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Fascinating....a must read
Unsung heroines, who deserve public recognition for their massive contributions to WWII effort.
I couldn't put it down, well worth a read
Published 2 months ago by C. J. Mason
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