Top positive review
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No Medals !!!
on 16 August 2010
There are many books available about World War 2 but very little about civilian life. This book fills that void. Little attention is paid, even today, about the actual work done by civilians who ventured out into the Blitz & fought the war on the Home Front. People such as ARP wardens, Fire Watchers, WVS & ordinary civilians sitting in the shelters are all given a voice. It is obvious when reading this book that the author has done a vast amount of research as she uses peoples diaries, letters & recollections to guide us through the war chronologically. People are as you can imagine terrified, & as they are writing their feelings in their diaries are willing to admit it. The frustrations of day to day living are spoken of. The constant feeling of exhaustion from sleep being interrupted, the difficulty of trying to do a simple thing like eating a hot meal without the air raid warning sounding, frustration of trying to do a simple task like shopping when the roads are blocked. All are revealed in this book. The reader learns about what happens when your home becomes inhabitable due to bomb damage. How families are dispersed amongst relatives, friends or a hotel in the countryside. One landlord remarks all are welcome if they can pay!!!!!
Contributions from military personnel point to the lack of organisation across the country at the beginning of the war. A young soldier, who was told he was too young to fight in France in 1940, finds himself in the newly-formed branch of bomb disposal!!! A member of the ATS recounts how the people of her local market showed their appreciation of the work she did even though rules & regulations meant that she, along with many others, never received a medal or official thanks when war ended.
I read this book in a matter of days not because it was short but it because it was fascinating to read of people's immediate reaction to events of that time. The diary sized format of the book was great as it meant that it was easy to carry about with me so I was able to read another entry whenever I had a spare five minutes.
I will definitely be reading further work by Carol Harris.