Boy in the Blitz: The 1940 Diary of Colin Perry (Reminiscence) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Sep 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
In between his descriptions of being bombed, he thinks about girls that show him no interest and the disappointment of being turned down by the RAF because he has too little schooling. And meeting Churchill is the highlight of his young life.
Truly an educational read on the Blitz spirit. And it is a rather unusual diary since this young man wrote very well and was well versed in literature.
Colin Perry wrote a diary which starts on 17th June 1940 and covers the beginning of the Luftwaffe attacks on London. The words are simple, matter of fact and show the perspective of an eighteen year old on those times. He recalls a time which perhaps some of our older readers may remember. London in the Blitz comes alive. He describes his thoughts and emotions as events unfold. His diary describes him jumping on a bicycle and cycling from London to Box Hill for an afternoon, jumping in the back of a lorry on the way back from work in the city or thumbing lifts, climbing onto the roof of the flats where he lived and watching bombs falling on Croydon airfield, flashes in the distance as Putney gets bombed, doing the rounds of bomb sites the morning after raids.
The book ends on 5th November 1940 as Colin gets called up and goes into the Navy.
The book is an Imperial War Museum publication and this institution has done us all a great service by allowing us to have this insight into the past.
It provides a very clear insight as to what it was like to live in the area during the Blitz. I was born in 1941 and recall the bomb sites that were still around as I grew up. Having heard my parents describe their experience of living through the bombardment, it was good to have a different perspective from an outsider.
As I read it, I struggled to understand the writer's perspectives on the War, his fellow citizens and the girls that he knew and hoped eventually to marry.
He was reluctant to take shelter during the bombardment and appeared to view those who sheltered with scorn. He enjoyed watching the raids. I can understand this when the raids began and were a novelty but as weeks and months progressed, his interest was maintained for much longer than one would expect. His attitudes to the girls that he knew are very idiosyncratic.
I kept asking myself whether I was being unfair judging him by the mores on the 21st century. I am not sure of the answer to this question, but am conscious that it would make a good read better still if I could find myself more in sympathy with the author of these very personal diaries.
Replaced lost library book.
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