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What did you do in the War, Mummy?

Mavis Nicholson
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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A wonderfully varied collection of women talk to Mavis Nicholson about their lives during the second world war. Their frank and vivid stories reveal intimate details of how they lived, worked, loved and coped in those years.

They discuss the new freedoms, the make-do and mend, the hopes and the fears, as well as the post-war adjustments they had to make. Their lives were turned upside down as they worked in munitions factories or on the land, were part of civil defence or the domestic war effort generally, or were members of the armed services. Occasionally they undertook something more exotic, as entertainers, artists, writers and even spies - the book includes the only interview given by the remarkable resistance fighter, Odette Hallows. 

Mavis Nicholson's interviewees range from the working class to the aristocracy, from 'lumberjills' to members of the labour movement, from showgirls to intelligence officers, and from administrators to the 'nightingales' who worked in flying hospitals. This is oral history at it's most engaging and significant: their wartime experiences altered these lives forever and changed the way women would live in the future. Readers young and old will find stories by turns moving, informative and entertaining.

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