This book features the full wartime diaries of Esther Rowley who had, it seems, independent financial status and influential friends in Devon society. Living in a large house with an extensive garden, she nevertheless had little domestic help to look after her frail elderly mother and menagerie of dogs, cats, chickens, and goats. Her road, situated near the sea and a short distance from a local army camp and docks, faced frequent attacks from low-flying German aircraft. Esther graphically describes the Exmouth bombings of 1941, 1942, and 1943, and the aftermath of the Exeter Blitz of 1942, which contrasts with her beautifully written descriptions of the local countryside and weather. Although she enjoyed a full social life after leaving the ATS in Exeter in 1941, playing tennis, dancing, holding tea parties, and playing cards with high-ranking army officers, she faced, like other local inhabitants, the daily possibility of losing her life by enemy action. Furthermore, she poignantly describes the pain of learning that close friends had died in action together with the anxiety that others were missing or in enemy hands. Rescued from obscurity, this absorbing account is an important and fascinating record of civilian life during the Blitz.
|Publisher:||The History Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
John Folkes worked in publishing for 20 years and is now retired. He has an MA in Early Modern English History from the University of London. He is the vice chairman of Exeter Postcard Society and a member of the Exeter Local History Society, and is the author of Exmouth Postcards and Taunton.