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Voices of the Second World War (ePub)

A Child's Perspective

WWII Social History 20th Century Biographies

By Sheila A Renshaw
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 3.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 158
ISBN: 9781526700612
eBook Released: 10th November 2017

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Voices of the Second World War: A Child’s Perspective is a collection of first-hand accounts from people who experienced the Second World War from all over Europe: stretching from Russia to the Channel Islands, and Norway to Malta.

While some children appear to have been hardly aware of the war, for those who lived through bombing, occupation, deprivation, starvation and fear, the memories remain with them even today.

The accounts have been relayed according to their perspective at the time and the contributors were happy to share their experiences and memories, keen in the knowledge that they were being documented as personal chroniclers of one of the twentieth century's most catastrophic events.

There are nearly 40 authors of this book, 26 of them telling stories mainly of four to six pages, and the rest making shorter contributions, sometimes only a few lines. All were children or teenagers during WW2, ranging from two to seventeen years old at the start of hostilities, living across Europe in Britain, Germany, Russia and elsewhere. By the time they met Sheila Renshaw, they were adults, most living in southern England. Renshaw recorded their stories over several years and decided to publish them before they passed out of living memory.

Some stories are commonplace—rationing, gas masks, air raid shelters—and others are eventful and even tragic. All are told in a terse, matter-of-fact style with little dramatisation or comment. They tell us ‘what I did in the war’ but not what it felt to be a child during WW2. Or perhaps that is what they are telling us. Six years is a long time in the life of a child, and most were too young to have remembered peace. War was their normality, and they accepted it as it happened.

Historical Novels Review

A fascinating set of youthful accounts.

Evergreen, June 2018

I found the book so compelling that I read it in one sitting. It's essential for anybody researching this period - particularly those who didn't pay enough attention to the stories of their grandparents.

WDYTYA?, April 2018 - reader review: Rhonda Wilson

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Hampshire Life, March 2018

★★★★★ Amazing book, so interesting to hear of war time experiences through the eyes of children, especially when one of them is my late Auntie. I thoroughly recommend this to everyone.

See the review online here.

Amazon, Mrs. Josephine Packham

Click here to listen to author interview

Note: set cursor to 2:11:13

BBC Radio Solent, 30/1/18

Read it for: An interesting collection of memories from the generation which grew up during WW2.

Your Family History, January 2018

About Sheila A Renshaw

Sheila Renshaw grew up in an RAF family and the joined the WRAF after leaving school, later receiving a commission and marrying an RAF pilot. She travelled extensively with the services and brought up a family of two daughters.

She was inspired to write this book having talked to a neighbour who lived in the U.S.S.R. during the Second World War and who had never told her story to anyone before as she didn’t feel anyone would be interested. Amazed at what she'd heard, Sheila began to wonder how many other stories were out there waiting to be told...

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