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Pied Piper: Memories of World War Two

Posted on: 07/08/2017 with tags: author blog, English History, historical fiction, historical novel, world war II, 20th Century, WW2

In this charming essay, author Frank White, whose novel There Was A Time, was published recently by Hodder & Stoughton, shares two memories of the earliest days of the Second World War. During the second and third weeks of August, 1939, our family was  in Wales  – at Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey. We were in Mr. Evans’ cottage, which sat, isolated and self-absorbed, hiding its face behind festoons of ivy, five strides from the beach.  When we arrived, on the Saturday afternoon, we found a bunch of…

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Waiting for D-Day – Marianne Kavanagh on the week before Operation Neptune

Posted on: 18/05/2017 with tags: English History, historical fiction, world war II, WW2

Six days form the structure of SHOULD YOU ASK ME – six days in May 1944 just before D-Day. This is how long it takes 86-year-old Mary to tell her story to William, a young policeman recently invalided out of the army, and for William in turn to confess. With wartime resources stretched to the limit, Mary’s tale of two long-dead bodies is not considered high priority. Only William has the time to listen. Meanwhile, both inside and outside the small rural police station in Dorset, it feels as if v…

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How the Nazis built the biggest hotel in the world

Posted on: 22/03/2016 with tags: guy saville, Hitler, nazis, The Madagaskar Plan, world war II, WW2

Think of the Nazis and what comes to mind? Hitler’s demagoguery and massed ranks of black uniforms? The war? The Holocaust? What you probably don’t think of is package holidays, cruise-ships and beach resorts. Yet the Nazis were at the forefront of modern tourism. Shortly after coming to power they established Kraft durch Freude (KdF: Strength through Joy), a leisure organisation. By 1937 it was the biggest tour operator in the world, organising cheap holidays for over 1.4 million people – as lo…

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The Battle of Britain Memorial Service – by Claire Lorrimer

Posted on: 26/08/2014 with tags: author blog, Battle of Britain, Claire Lorrimer, history, memorial, world war II

Eight weeks ago, I was asked to lay a wreath at the Battle of Britain Memorial on the cliffs above Folkestone at Capel-Le-Ferne. It was an emotional day as I had served in the WAAF – the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force – during the war. Not only had I lost two young cousins in those desperate air battles when we were on the brink  of invasion, but in 1944 the Lancaster bomber pilot I was hoping to marry when the war was over, did not return from one of the dangerous bombing raids when one in five pl…

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