on 3 June 2016
I was amazed at how much work the WVS did as children were evacuated or simply moved out of the bombed areas. This was a meticulously researched book, but after s bit became rather repetitive. However, I am left with great admiration for these women, andwonder how we would have managed without them.
on 17 July 2013
There is an awful lot of information in the public domain about the Home Guard and the ARP Wardens during World War 2 but there is very little known about the Womens Voluntary Service. We all know that it was "women" who kept the home fires burning while the men went off to serve, but what did that actually entail. The nearest story we have at the moment is Victoria Wood's Housewife, 49.
Women at the Ready sets out specifically to tell the previously unknown history of the wartime WVS using unseen records, footage and memorabilia. The stories told in the book are normal women who stood up to fight for their country in a once in a lifetime chance to change their lives.
The WVS started in 1938 as the war was turning a corner, by 1941 a million women had dedicated their lives to running "community kitchens" and organising mass evacuations from the cities into the villages and towns. I was fascinated how much I didnt know what happened in Bedfordshire, which is where I now live. Sadly, i'm probably not the only one.
There is so much to this book it is hard to narrow down any specific points, it is clear to read by everyone, it would appeal very well to book clubs as a change of genre.
(first reviewed for newbooks magazine)