A commemorative service today at St Pauls marked the 70th anniversary of the start of evacuations. The first wave, known as Operation Pied Piper, involved 1.5m people and took place over four days from 1 September 1939, when hostilities began in Europe. In total, around 3.5m people, mainly children, were removed from cities and towns to safer areas from 1939 to 1945.
I personally find this period of history fascinating, particularly from a social point of view. So, the last couple of months have been perfect for me, with a succession of books being released about this very subject.
Our book Evacuees of the Second World War follows the story of those evacuated from their homes and cities, describing what it was like and how their lives changed. This book forms a neat partnership with another brilliant title, Wartime Childhood. This book shows us what life was like during the Second World War from the perspective of children - that heady mix of excitement and apprehension, the threat of the blitz and the deprivations of rationing. And, for a glance inside the homes of everyday people during the Second World War, why not pick up a copy of The 1940s Home - another recent release.
But, perhaps the best new book to provide an insight into life on the Home Front comes from our sister publisher Osprey. The Black-out Book is a facsimile of a book originally published during the Blitz which contains 501 games and passtimes to keep children (and their parents) occupied, distracted and entertained during the long, tense nights. I will hopefully be able to post up some pictures of the pages of this book here soon - so keep an eye out for them!
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