Children of War
During the Munich Crisis, my father, aged ten, joined his friends in digging trenches. On 3 September, 1939, he knew, on leaving the Liverpool church where he sang in the choir, that war had begun because the policemen were wearing tin hats. Next day he was evacuated to North Wales with his school. My late mother told of her family returning hurriedly from holiday so that her 15-year-old brother could join his ship as a Merchant Navy apprentice. A week later the ship was sunk with nearly half the crew.
Having parents of that generation, I found a strange familiarity about this book, but for those younger there must be much which is new and unfathomable. Perhaps most shocking to modern sensibilities is that over a million children, as young as five, could be separated from their parents and billeted on complete strangers for an indefinite period. Susan Goodman provides a clear and balanced account of what was for many children the best of times, for others the worst of times, but for all the central experience of their lives.