Sutton diarists describe life in Surrey during the early years of war
A new book looks at life on the home front during the second WWII.
Two Sutton residents have described the gloom and despondency within Surrey during the early years of war.
New book, Warriors at Home, features the experiences of diarists Viola Bawtree from Sutton and Leonard Adamson of Belmont.
The book, published by Surrey Record Society, provides an intimate picture of life on the Home Front, as recorded by three Surrey residents capturing the hopes and fears, patriotic elation and despondent gloom for those living in the county during the critical years of 1940-1942, when ultimate victory seemed very unlikely.
Viola was deaf which added to the horror of the bombing raids. Her terror is very apparent: "Our warden called last night, to take down all particulars about us, where we sleep at night in case we have to be dug out, and the address of our next of kin. He told them that once, when he went to London just after a bomb demolished a bus at 9am, he saw fifty dead bodies lying around. I don't think he ought to tell of these things". Leonard was an Post Warden and his diary is full of observations on the impact of the war on daily life, on the food in the shops, and on the morale of people, and he is an acute observer of the changes he saw across the county on his regular cycle rides.
The new book is to be launched at Cheam Library at which the book's editors, Patricia and Robert Malcolmson, will talk about the three diarists and their experiences. Members of the public are welcome to attend either launch but are asked to reserve a place .
The Cheam launch, which will focus on diarists Viola Bawtree and Leonard Adamson, will take place at Cheam Library, Church Road, Sutton, SM3 8QH, on Thursday 24th May at 6.30 for 7pm. To reserve a place phone 020 8770 4745 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Copies of the book are available from Sutton Central Library for a special introductory price of £20 and will be available on the night.