Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating personal accounts of a war factory
on 28 March 2010
This book has a wide appeal, it would be ideal for academics and history students, particularly those interested in gender and social history. Being focused upon the personal accounts of Kathleen Church-bliss and Elsie Whiteman would also make it suitable for those interested in war diaries or more generally histories of the Second World War. Sue Bruley's editing skills become clear once the contents page has been consulted. The book has been split into four clear sections; this enables the reader to locate parts of Kathleen and Elsie's diary easily. Bruley has situated the diary within the historiography of the Second World War and how it is remembered, significantly it is highlighted that written documents, including diary entries will be increasingly used by historians as the collective memory of the Second World War fades over time. The introduction is also useful for placing the story of Kathleen and Elsie within the context of the war, in which women were mobilised through the Essential Work Order to fill gaps in the labour market. This reinforces the idea that the Second World War really was a people's war which involved and affected a large part of, if not the entire British population. Those who purchase this book will not be disappointed; Bruley has enabled the fascinating wartime experiences of Kathleen and Elsie to be brought to life. In addition to commemorating and celebrating the achievements of Britain's soldiers on the fighting front it also necessary to remember and acknowledge those who tirelessly worked on the home front to enable the soldiers to fight. The women of Britain faced many difficulties and overcame a number of obstacles to contribute to the war effort. This book demonstrates an admirable British war spirit, in which many women selflessly and bravely volunteered to become a fundamental part of the war effort. Their stories should not be forgotten, Bruley's book ensures that this will not happen.