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Fight the Good Fight (Hardback)

Voices of Faith from the Second World War

WWII

By John Broom
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 230
ISBN: 9781473862395
Published: 5th April 2016

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£19.99


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As featured in The Star (Sheffield)

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The Second World War challenged many of the concepts that had provided stability and unity in the world. As totalitarian regimes in Europe and Asia attempted to impose their world view on their neighbours, a struggle for what Winston Churchill described as `Christian civilisation’ took place on many fronts. On the home front, on land, on sea and in the air, as well as in the horrific concentration camps of Europe and prisoner of war camps in the Far East, people of a Christian faith found their beliefs challenged. However, for many this challenge provided an affirmation of that faith, as it provided a rock amidst the ever shifting sands of circumstance. This book contains the accounts of twenty such individuals, many drawn from previously unpublished sources. Their testimonies provide evidence that during a time of discord, disruption, dislocation and death, the Christian faith remained a key force in sustaining morale and a willingness to fight the good fight.

Interesting Facts
King George VI called National Days of Prayer during Britain’s darkest days in 1940
Had Michael Benn survived the war, he would have become the 2nd Viscount Stansgate, meaning his brother, Tony, would not have had to fight to renounce his peerage
Bill Frankland avoided near certain death at the Alexandra Hospital Massacre by the toss of a coin
Stanley Warren only found out about the rediscovery of his Changi Murals during a chance work conversation in the 1950s
As a boy, Ken Tout was told by his parents to cross the street to avoid walking past the Catholic church. As a man he was invited to a private audience with Pope John Paul II.

"Fight the Good Fight" gives an all-round view of how the First World War was interpreted religiously and it's affect on a broad spectrum of individuals, not merely those included in the text but those that were touched by them. The underlying aspects of the war are seldom explored, yet this theme in particular is one that held heavy significance in the daily lives of those fighting the war both at home and abroad, and as such this book gives a unique and valuable insight into attitudes which are somewhat harder to relate to a century later, as Christian belief was in essence the backbone of British society and oblivious to social class, gender or organization. I especially enjoyed the case study of Louise Thuliez which focuses around helping escaping soldiers from the Germans, which is a theme more associated with the Second World War, and has sparked my interest to inform myself more on this.

Regardless of your belief or indifference to religion John Broom's book is an interesting and informative read, and a valuable study of social, military and indeed religious history.

OCAD Militaria Collectors Resources

As featured in

Church Times

"I am truly impressed... It is a book which needs to be read widely... The chapter which you drew from my experiences is excellent and respects in every detail what I was trying to convey... [it is] well written.... Many thanks for your sensitive handling of my thoughts. You use the printed word with the sensitivity that a heart surgeon handles his instruments"

Dr Ken Tout, Normandy Verteran and Military Author

In Fight the Good Fight, John Broom has collected the accounts of twenty such individuals, many drawn from previously unpublished sources. Their testimonies provide evidence that during a time of discord, disruption, dislocation and death, the Christian faith remained a key force in sustaining morale and a willingness to fight the good fight.

As featured on Recollections of WWII. Read more:
http://recollectionsofwwii.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/fight-good-fight-voices-of-faith-from.html

Recollections of WWII

John Broom has produced a fascinating compilation of individual stories from the Second World War. Although much neglected by historians, together they serve as a salutary and timely reminder of the religious experience and dimensions of the greatest man-made catastrophe in history.

Professor Michael Snape, University of Durham
 John Broom

About John Broom

John Broom graduated in History from the University of Sheffield in 1991 and has pursued a career in teaching, firstly in History, and latterly as a Specialist Teacher in Autism. The inheritance in 2006 of 170 letters written by his late father between 1940 and 1946 sparked a passion to discover the links between twentieth-century warfare and religion. After completing an MA in Local and Regional History with the Open University, he is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham and has conducted research on behalf of the Bible Society for their First World War website. John maintains an active social media presence on Twitter at @johnbroom1970 and blogs frequently at www.faithinwartime.wordpress.com.

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