Friday, 6 September 2013

Secret thoughts of women in war

This week saw the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, when thousands of families across the country huddled around their radios to hear Neville Chamberlain's speech announcing that Britain was now at war with Germany.

For those who had been following the situation for some time, it was the outcome they'd feared. For others who were ignorant of the politics and events abroad, it came as a complete shock.

In her excellent book, 'Millions Like Us', Virginia Nicholson charts the lives, experiences and private thoughts of women who lived through the war years and whose lives changed for ever, as a result.

Using personal journals, archive material and individual accounts, the author gives the reader an incite into the lives of  women from across a wide section of society, beginning from just before war broke out until 1949, four years after it ended. Read it and truly understand what it meant to be a woman at that time.

On the day war was declared, one young woman listened with a heavy heart to Chamberlain's broadcast, certain that it would herald the end of her promising singing career. Her name? Vera Welch. Better known as 'The Forces Sweetheart', Vera Lynn.

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