A Taste of Wartime Britain

A Taste of Wartime Britain

A Taste of Wartime Britain

A Taste of Wartime Britain


A vivid and evocative collection of eyewitness accounts, diaries, reportage and scraps of memory from men, women and children who lived through the dark days of World War II. Lavishly illustrated with newspaper pictures and personal photos, the book shows what life was like for millions of ordinary people throughout the war--men and women in the services, those who stayed at home, children billeted with strangers in the country and of course the spirit and suffering of the Blitz. It brilliantly captures the sights, smells, sounds and voices of the country at war sixty years ago.

The book ends with a rich collection of recipes drawn from advertisements, scrap-books and magazines of the time, providing a very literal taste of wartime Britain.


Writing the introduction to this book has turned out to be the most difficult job I could have tackled, after reading the sheer quality of the contributions from those who have given so generously of their time to this project. Therefore the best thing I can do is to write what I feel will be the closest I can get to living up to them.

Many books have been written about the Second World War, in any one year close on a thousand books are published, a mere fraction of those actually written, on the subject. My aim with A Taste of Wartime Britain is to tell the stories of those who would not normally get their words into print and give some background information on life at that time. in sleeve notes for my last book, to which I refer on occasions, Betty's Wartime Diary 1939 – 1945, David Croft obe – co-creator of the bbc classic comedy series 'Dad's Army' – said that ordinary people seldom write books as they are usually too busy 'doing' for others. in this I have in a small way set out to redress the balance about a period I find one of the most fascinating, and pivotal, in the history of the British Isles and Western Europe.

I have included some stories that do not necessarily relate to Britain; this is simply because they are of such interest and value that I could not leave them out – that of George Parnell being one.

I am most appreciative of all those who have been so helpful on this project. Set down in this one volume is an attempt to communicate some idea of what it was like to live day-to-day under the appalling shadow of war.

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