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Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War
Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War
by Julie Summers
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 April 2013
Julie has done it again. This book is an excellent addition to her wartime 'series' and makes a significant contribution to the understanding of an aspect of British social history that has long gone unnoticed. Drawing on personal memories and painstaking research Julie creates both a humourous and academic insight into the workings of one of our national insitutions. The title is fantastic.... so looking forward to the film just to listen to the sound track!
Very highly recommended to any student or casual reader interested in the impact of women on the British Home Front or war time social history in general.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2013 8:52 AM BST


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A Little Girl's War
A Little Girl's War
by Wendy Appleton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.35

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Girl's War, 10 May 2012
This review is from: A Little Girl's War (Paperback)
This is a well-written and easily read book dealing with the personal memories of Wendy Appleton who was living in Bexleyheath at the time of the V1 bombing raids in 1944, and then subsequently evacuated to Lancashire.
Covering many aspects of domestic life in late war-time Britain, Wendy describes the basic living conditions, the lack of food, and the trials and tribulations of spending nights in the family's damp Anderson shelter; an environment which was in direct comparison to the rather peaceful existence she had later with the two 'Aunts' in Padiham. Tinged with sadness at times, Wendy's memories are generally positive. Although it is a shame that she and her sister, Thelma, were not to see their hosts again. This would be a good read, not only for children wishing to gain some idea of what it was like to grow up in wartime Britain, some of whom would now find it surprising to hear about children drinking out of empty jam-jars and having baths in front of the fire, but also for adults who lived through the 1940s, and indeed the early 1950s, who can remember and empathise with some of the situations and products described here.


History of Bradfield in Berkshire: From Roman Villa to Second World War
History of Bradfield in Berkshire: From Roman Villa to Second World War
by Dorcas Ward
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of Bradfield, 2 Jun. 2011
"This is an excellent book, well researched, well written and an 'easy' read
making it a useful addition to the history of rural Berkshire.

Covering the story of Bradfield from BC to the 1960s in 250 pages is not an
easy task, but Dorcas has been selective in her foci and as a result has
delivered a wide sweep of the locality's development.

Suitably illustrated throughout with contemporary and modern photographs
this book is a must read for anyone presently living, or considering moving
to the area.

Dr Martin Parsons. University of Reading."


Around Lingfield at War
Around Lingfield at War
by Janet Bateson
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Around Lingfield at War, 31 Mar. 2011
Meticulously researched and well written, this book `works' on two levels. On one, it is an interesting insight into the effects of the Second World War on the daily life of a parish in South-East Surrey and on another, a useful source to use as a comparative study with similar communities coping with war-related activities across Britain.
It would seem that Lingfield had everything, from the initial bureaucratic and administrative pressures at the beginning of the war, to the arrival of the evacuees in early September 1939, through to the internment camp on the nearby racecourse, the `invasion' of the Canadian forces, and the covert operations link with `The Garth', all of which are effectively interwoven into the national historical context.
The author has used first-hand accounts and primary sources to add a human element which is not overused, as can be the case in some books of this kind. The balance is just about right, which takes this book out of the zone of simply being a series of reminiscences about Lingfield read only by past and present inhabitants.
In truth, the book not only deals with the parish confines of Lingfield, but goes further afield, and there is an interesting chapter on Archibald McIndoes' Maxillo-facial unit at the Queen Victoria Cottage Hospital at East Grinstead.
The book is well illustrated throughout with contemporary and later photos, both personal and official, together with primary sources, cartoons and some interesting `knitting' features. The only thing lacking in this regard is a map showing Lingfield and its environs and perhaps one showing the `Stop-Line' of defences. Both would have helped the uninformed.
Altogether a good read and highly recommended.
Dr Martin Parsons


When the Children Came Home: Stories of Wartime Evacuees
When the Children Came Home: Stories of Wartime Evacuees
by Julie Summers
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the children came home, 22 Mar. 2011
A book of this nature has been long overdue. The true story of the evacuation of British children during World War Two has been a topic that has really only been investigated fully in the last few years and, although plenty has been said about the going away and staying in the reception areas, little has been said about the children coming home and the impact it had, both on the children themselves, the family they returned to, and indeed the foster family they left behind.
Julie has skillfully woven together an inticrate strand of historical fact, personal accounts and human emotion, to produce an excellent account of life at the time and the effects post-war. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2012 9:19 PM BST


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