Those who were children during the Second World War spent their formative years amidst a quite extraordinary succession of events that cant fail to have left a vivid impression. This proposal combines the memories of those who were young at the time with historical research to examine the major factors influencing wartime childhood and development. There are stories by people from many different backgrounds and areas of Britain but all had in common the fact they were children during this unique period. At a time when children were in mortal danger because of daily attacks on British soil, measures taken to protect them included gasmasks, air-raid shelters and the blackout. Schooling was interrupted and the land became an island fortress as military equipment and installations appeared everywhere, both in cities and in small villages. Fathers and other family members were often away from home, serving in the armed forces, but children too could 'do their bit' for the war effort. Others recall the experiences of evacuation and their feelings at the time, which extended from a sense of security to fear of abuse. This book looks, too, at the toys that were played with, the games enjoyed, the clubs that could be joined, and the entertainment and information that was on offer. A roller-coaster of emotions ranges from the horror of nightmare attacks on london and other cities to the exuberant relief which accompanied the final victory and the return home of loved ones.
Henry Buckton is a former member of the RAF and the author of several books, including By Royal Command, The Lost Villages, and Politicians at War.