Captured Memories 1930 - 1945 (Hardback)
Across the Threshold of War: The Thirties and the War
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In this sequel to his successful first volume Peter Liddle brings his years of Oral History experience to the Thirties and the Second World War. He was the founder/Director of a new archive in 1999 specifically dedicated to the rescue of evidence of the Second World War which now documents the lives of more than nine thousand people in that war. Many of the most vivid recollections he has recorded covering this period appear in this book.
For the Thirties poverty is movingly exemplified in recall of orphanage upbringing, labour in an East Lancashire mill and Glasgow childhood. Privileged public schools and university education is here too, with political convictions expressed by Barbara Castle and quite exceptionally by Oswald Mosley.
For the War, there is a section on the sea which includes graphic detail of battle, lifeboat command, the St Nazaire Raid, and of Pearl Harbor. A George Medallist and an Admiral of the Fleet add special distinction here.
For the air, a Battle of Britain Spitfire Pilot, Britain's most successful night-fighter pilot, a Lancaster Bomber Pilot VC, an American pilot shot down over Belgium, surviving to fight with the Resistance, and a German Pilot retaining his national Socialist convictions present outstanding material.
For the land, Dunkirk, North Africa, Italy, Singapore, D-Day, Arnhem, the Rhine Crossing, are all there but so Commando raids, SOE operations, capture, escapes, severe wounding, and a VC earned in Somaliland. A German describes the hand to hand fighting at Cassino, a Field Marshal, his service in North Africa, and Joachim Ronneberg his part in the Telemark Raid in Norway.
In the Home Front section, women feature prominently was WAAF, Wrens, ATS, Bletchley Park, the Land Army, war work in factories, danceband singing, Blitz experience in several towns, war widowhood, and overseas evacuation, all feature. There is an account of bomb disposal, of the stance of a Conscientious Objector, and then four people quite exceptional for the significance of their matierial. Two are from Poland, a jewess who survived against all odds, and a woman who became involved in the Warsaw Uprising; the others are Sir Basil Blackwell working on the development of weaponry for the Admiralty and finally Sir Bernard Lovell on radar.
This book does much to dissolve the intervening years. The essence of what is was to be young and to be there lies within these pages.
Cumulatively these accounts bring history to life in a way that merely factual accounts cannot, and convey the essence of what it really felf like to be there in those days.The Countryman
The untouched words and expressions of the contributors offers us a true sense of intimacy and sharing in their widely differing experiences.Family History Monthly
Read it for a large 1930s and 1940s oral history collection.Your Family Tree
Fascinating archive accountsMilitary History Monthly
Peter Liddle is ideally placed to put together this sequel to his first volume.Britain at War
This 400 page well illustrated book with a detailed index makes an interesting read.Dover Express
Personal accounts from people of all walks of life testify to the economic hardship of the thirties and the horrors of the Second World War, capturing for the modern reader what life really was like in the war era at sea, in the air, on land and at home.Your Family History