The West At War
The Second World War had a huge impact upon the civilian population of the West Country.
The story is told with the help of personal recollections, and enhanced by extensive archive film, including some remarkable colour footage of Bristol, rare audio recordings, photographs and documents.
Eminent war historian John Penny explains how the government used radio and newspapers to boost the morale of the country, and how the mood of the nation was secretly monitored. Evacuation from Bristol often came as quite a culture shock, and children also escaped the Blitz by attending rural summer camps.
Ordinary people defended their homes and workplaces by doing extraordinary things, as revealed by war historian George Scott, and there is also a special feature on how a sufficient diet was maintained, despite the devastation of the Nazi blockade. It was vital to maintain high levels of productivity, as confirmed by the memories of a Bevin Boy who wanted to join the RAF but found himself hewing coal in South Wales.
During the build-up to D-Day, there was a steady build-up of American forces, and their presence in the West is still fondly recalled by those who survived some of Britain’s darkest days.
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