When Daddy Came Home

Written by Barry Turner Tony Rennell
Review by Claire Cowling

The Second World War brought with it long separation of lovers, spouses and families. The armed services survived by concentrating on discipline, camaraderie and thoughts of home. Those back in Britain had to learn to survive without them. This incredible book provides an in-depth depiction of the process of demobilisation, and how families had to try and live – and love – together again.

Written in an easily accessible style, and making use of hundreds of first-hand personal accounts, this is a major emotive investigation into the subject. It is honest, sometimes distressing, and often heartbreaking. This book was first published in 1995, but it is definitely one that has been worth re-releasing in this year, to coincide with commemorations of those who have fought wars. The authors mention in their forward that the book was previously criticised for its sentimentality. However, like them, I believe that its root, and success, is in precisely its emotive nature.

I have no hesitation at all in recommending this superb piece of research to any reader interested in World War II and, particularly, in the individual, ‘human’ element, rather than the ‘official’ version of events. Just be prepared to shed tears as you read.