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A Woman Living in the Shadow of the Second World War (Hardback)

Helena Hall's Journal from the Home Front

Military > Biographies > Military Biographies Military > By Century > 20th Century WWII Women of History

By Helena Hall, Edited by Linda Grace, Edited by Margaret Nicolle, Foreword by Peter Liddle
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 268
ISBN: 9781473823259
Published: 10th November 2014


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Helena Hall's daily diary of the war years, from 1940 to 1945, is one of the most vivid, detailed and evocative personal records of the Second World War as it was experienced by people living in an English village. In her journal she describes her everyday activities alongside momentous national and international events. The war overshadows her narrative. Each daily entry gives us an insight into the extraordinary impact of the conflict on local lives, and shows how much energy and commitment ordinary people put into the war effort. This edited edition of her previously unpublished diary, written without embellishment or hindsight, shows how she heard about the war and how she reacted to it, and how it was reported and understood. It allows the reader today to connect directly with the wartime past and to see events clearly, as they were seen at the time.

'The book is a treasure chest of the intimate details of village life set set against a background of dramatic global events.'

'... I believe this fascinating and immensely readable book is an historically important read.'

Sussex Living

Overall, a fascinating insight into life on the Home Front.

4.5 out of 5.

Rear Party, Copepod

'Helena Hall's wartime journal is a must... a wonderful book.'

Sussex Book Club

As mentioned in

East Grinstead Courier

As featured in.

The People's Friend

The writings of an ordinary woman in far from ordinary times [that] demonstrate how the war and the war effort overshadowed everyday existence for every man, woman and child. Another valuable first-hand insight into what life was really like for the ordinary citizen in Britain.

Britain at War

This book provides a wonderful collection of impressions, views and insights from the view point of a civilian in the greatest war to be fought, where even at home, civilians were on the front line.


...contains edited extracts of Helena Hall's Second World War journal in which she described her everyday activities...alongside descriptions of momentous national and international events. Through this it is possible to gain an insight into the impact of the conflict locally, and it also shows the energy and commitment of people in the area to the war effort.

Mid Sussex Times

Two Lindfield historians have published, for the first time, the exceptional personal diary of Helena Hall, depicting life on the home front during the Second World War. Linda Grace and Margaret Nicolle came to know about the journal through research for a local exhibition. They subsequently decided to return to the Record Office to explore it in more depth and were inspired to write their book as the journal is so distinctive and has much to offer the reader today.

Ashdown Forest Living Magazine

Over the years many accounts have been written in the aftermath of World War II in an attempt to capture life on the Home Front. But a series of diaries, meticulously kept by a Lindfield ARP warden, give a unique first-hand account of the war years from 1940 to 1945. The book has been painstakingly put together by Lindfield residents Linda Grace and Margaret Nicolle over the last four years.

Lindfield Life
 Peter Liddle

About Peter Liddle

Former teacher, lecturer and founder/director of two archives on the world wars of the twentieth century, Peter Liddle is a well-published historian of personal experience in those wars with books on
Gallipoli, The Somme and D-Day. He is dedicated to the preservation of the evidence of the past and has particularly enjoyed drawing together in publications and conferences the research of others in the field..

He has a lifetime of interest in sport, history travel and wildlife. He lives with his wife, Louise, in Rawdon, Leeds. He is Life President of The Second World War Experience Centre.

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