Life of a Teenager in Wartime London

Life of a Teenager in Wartime London

by Duncan Leatherdale


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Life in wartime London evokes images of the Blitz, of air-raid shelters and rationing, of billeted soldiers and evacuated children. These are familiar, collective memories of what life was like in wartime London, yet there remains an often neglected area of our social history: what was life like for teenagers and young people living in London during the Second World War?

While children were evacuated and many of their friends and family went to fight, there were many who stayed at home despite the daily threat of air raids and invasion. How did those left behind live, work and play in the nation's capital between 1939 and 1945? Using the diary entries of nineteen-year-old trainee physiotherapist Glennis 'Bunty' Leatherdale, along with other contemporary accounts, Life of a Teenager in Wartime London is a window into the life of a young person finding their way in the world. It shows how young people can cope no matter the dangers they face, be it from bombs or boys, dances or death.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473894969
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 01/04/2018
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Duncan is an experienced newspaper and online journalist working in the North East of England. He has a degree in Journalism with English Literature from the University of Sunderland and had been working for the regional press for seven years before joining the BBC in August 2014. 'Life of a Teenager in Wartime London' is his first book.

Bunty was born and raised in London, one of two children to baker Alfred and his wife Gertrude. After the war she married the navigator of a Lancaster bomber and the pair had two sons. She worked as a physiotherapist and now, having retired some years ago, lives in Bradford-on-Avon near Bath. Despite having a new hip and being 91, she still drives and enjoys walks and feeding the badgers who visit her garden each night.

Table of Contents

Foreword vi

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 London Life 1

Chapter 2 Education and Evacuation 16

Chapter 3 Working Through the War 23

Chapter 4 The Reality of Air Raids 30

Chapter 5 How to Have Fun in Wartime London 43

Chapter 6 Wartime Holidays In and Around the Capital City 52

Chapter 7 Fashion on the Ration 59

Chapter 8 Making a Meal of Things 66

Chapter 9 Getting From A to B 76

Chapter 10 Censorship and Sensitivity 82

Chapter 11 Troubles of a Wartime Teenager 92

Chapter 12 Who was Bunty? 99

Chapter 13 Bunty's Wartime Diary 106

Epilogue 157

Bibliography 161

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