Women in the Second World War explores the experiences of women who served in the armed forces, or complimentary services. Using interviews, anecdotes, memoirs and/or accounts from the women (or, where appropriate, their children), the book tells the women s personal accounts of what their lives were like and what particular experiences they had while serving.
They were all ordinary British women, and tell here in their own words their experiences on active service.
Their accounts cover the whole spectrum, from famous battles, such as Monte Cassino, to being shipwrecked by a tornado, to simple acts of kindness, which in themselves seem nothing, but at the same time meant something very special to those young women, and were fondly remembered, even sixty years afterwards.
The huge variety of services and experiences featured in the book reflect how widely spread the women’s contribution to the war effort was, from tilling the soil below, to servicing the engines of aircraft about to take off to the sky above, and everything in between.”
This is a stunning series of autobiographical short stories/memoirs of some of the women who played an active role during World War II, the women in the book served in all of the forces from the WAAF to the Timber Corps and all the stories are fascinating in their own way.
The variety of backgrounds is detailed and each person that has been focussed on brought something to the force that they served in. I started reading the book this morning, and have finished it tonight.
It was so easy to read and I loved the writing style and the way that these women have been showcased. I love reading books that cover social history and I genuinely feel privileged that I have been able to read some of their personal stories and encounters, best of all that they all said how they were glad that they were able to play their part and all (apart from one) enjoyed their time serving.
So many were so very young, joining up aged 17 in many cases (some slightly younger with their parents’ permission) through to the “oldest” person being aged 27. They still had their lives ahead of them but chose to go in to roles that were away from their family and friends, and some went in to high risk roles where they risked being under attack from enemy forces when bombing or attack raids occurred.
As I was reading the book I did think to myself that had I been alive at that time, I too would have signed up without hesitation and I could see traits from my personality in so many of these women too. They often gave up a lot and I have already been telling my husband about how much he needs to read the book too!
It is 5 stars from me without a doubt, it is one of the best books that I have read on the Women of World War II and it is one that I will be very highly recommending. It was an addictive read and I loved it!