Although nearly 90% of the population of Great Britain remained civilians throughout the war, or for a large part of it, their story has so far largely gone untold. In contrast with the thousands of books on military operations, barely any have concerned themselves with the individual's experience. The problems of the ordinary family are barely ever mentioned - food rationing, clothes rationing, the black-out and air raids get little space, and everyday shortages almost none at all.
This book is an attempt to redress the balance; to tell the civilian's story largely through their own recollections and in their own words.
An immense and impressive assembly... Must surely remain an invaluable essay in the remembrance of things past
Superbly detailed and illustrated... From stirrup pumps to Spam, Norman Longmate's marvellously comprehensive panorama misses nothing. Excellent
A landmine of information covering every field of civilian life in wartime from the grandeurs of the blitz to the miseries of dried eggs and the six-inch bath
Much of it is extremely interesting; some of it is fascinatingly out-of-the-way; and all of it contributes to building up a true picture of everyday life in England from September 1939 to August 1945
Mr Longmate has recruited an enormous volunteer army of home-front veterans who sent him their wartime recollections... He has brilliantly sifted and assembled the precious debris