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Nicola Tyrer is a freelance journalist who works for the DAILY MAIL and DAILY TELEGRAPH.
May 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. With or without their parents, children were interned in great numbers in Japanese camps, some 4,000 UK children alone. This thoroughly researched and rounded account of their story relates their experiences of the camps and through the personal stories – often recounted for the first time - learn what impact these events had on their lives as children and as adults. Their experiences are very mixed, some suffered through terrible deprivations under despotic camp guards others were “luckier” to be interned under less strict rulers, a few luckier still were young enough and resilient enough to see it all as a terrific adventure. With so many disparate strands, it would be easy to lose focus but Nicola Tyrer has a strong hand on the narrative , honouring the people who told her their stories.Like for Like ReadingHow the Girl Guides Won the War, Janie HamptonEmpire of the Sun, J G Ballard
This is a fascinating insight into events of the Second World War, seen through the eyes of these remarkable women. Young women who were sent out to do their duty side by side with the soldiers who were fighting. Told from memory of from diaries and letters, written at the time. They knew they had a job to do and they got on with it as one diary entry says: “VE dinner but I wasn’t there. Went back on ward. Had a glass of champagne later”. This book is a true testament to the unselfish, brave and heroic women who volunteered to leave their comfortable homes for the horrors of war.
While troops fought on the front line, a battalion of young women joined up to take their places as agricultural workers. Despite many of them coming from urban backgrounds, these fearless, cheerful girls learnt how to look after farmland, operate and repair machinery, rear and manage farm animals, harvest crops and provide the work force that was badly needed in the years of war. Back-breaking work such as thinning crops, continuous hoeing and digging made way for disgusting tasks such as rat-killing. Yet, despite it all, the land girls were exuberant, fun-loving and hard-working, and became known for their articulate, feisty, humorous and modest attitude. It therefore comes as no surprise that, despite hostility and teasing at the beginning, these robust farm workers won the hearts of the nation, and at the disbandment of the Land Army in the 1950s the farming community were forced to eat their words. With delightful photographs documenting the camaraderie of the Land Army and real-life memories from those who joined, this nostalgic look at one of the real success stories of the Second World War will make modern women proud of what their grandmothers achieved in an era before our own.