Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939?45

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9780007516537: Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939?45

A rich account of the impact of the Second World War on the lives of people living in the farms and villages of Britain.

On the outbreak of war, the countryside was invaded by service personnel and evacuee children by the thousand; land was taken arbitrarily for airfields, training grounds and firing ranges, and whole communities were evicted. Prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy soldiers to close quarters, and as horses gave way to tractors and combines farmers were burdened with aggressive new restrictions on what they could and could not grow. Land Girls and Lumber Jills worked in fields and forests. Food – or the lack of it – was a major preoccupation and rationing strictly enforced. And although rabbits were poached, apples scrumped and mushrooms gathered, there was still not enough to eat.

Drawing from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews, Duff Hart Davis revisits rural Britain to describe how ordinary people survived the war years. He tells of houses turned over to military use such as Bletchley and RAF Medmenham as well as those that became schools, notably Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

Combining both hardship and farce, the book examines the profound changes war brought to Britain’s countryside: from the Home Guard, struggling with the provision of ludicrous equipment, to the role of the XII Corps Observation Unit. whose task was to enlarge rabbit warrens and badger setts into bunkers for harassing the enemy in the event of a German invasion; to the unexpected tenderness shown by many to German and Italian prisoners-of-war at work on the land. Fascinating, sad and at times hilarious, this warm-hearted book tells great stories – and casts new light on Britain during the war.

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Product Description:

For all fans of Dad’s Army and Call the Midwife, a warm-hearted history of Britain’s countryside during the second world war – and how that war changed rural Britain forever. Filled with evacuees, Land Girls, stories of rationing and the Home Guard, this is social history at its best.

In England, Scotland and Wales, the Second World War dragged rural communities out of their former environment and changed their lives forever. Whilst urban people were liable to have their homes destroyed by bombs, rural folk had their territory invaded: evacuee children were dumped on them by the thousand, land was arbitrarily taken for airfields and other military installations, prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy to close quarters. Cornwall was closed to outsiders for a time, as was the whole of north-west Scotland, which was used for Commando training and became a Protected Area. The Government subjected farmers to draconian regulations about what crops they might or might not grow. The results often involved severe clashes of culture and a remarkable effort of resourcefulness.

Drawing on anecdotes from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews Duff Hart-Davis conveys something of the strangeness of the changes wrought in Britain by these odd combinations of hardship and farce. Nostalgic, amusing and filled with warm human detail, ‘Our Land at War’ is a living history – a rich, textured account of the profound changes to ordinary rural lives produced by an extraordinary time.

Product Description:

The real stories of how the people of Britain's countryside fought from home and changed their country forever in the time of greatest need. The real stories of how the people of Britain's countryside fought from home and changed their country forever in the time of greatest need. In England, Scotland and Wales, the Second World War dragged rural communities out of their former environment and changed their lives forever. Whilst urban people were liable to have their homes destroyed by bombs, rural folk had their territory invaded: evacuee children were dumped on them by the thousand, land was arbitrarily taken for airfields and other military installations, prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy to close quarters. Cornwall was closed to outsiders for a time, as was the whole of north-west Scotland, which was used for Commando training and became a Protected Area. The Government subjected farmers to draconian regulations about what crops they might or might not grow. The results often involved severe clashes of culture and a remarkable effort of resourcefulness. Drawing on anecdotes from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews Duff Hart-Davies conveys something of the strangeness of the changes wrought in Britain by these odd combinations of hardship and farce. Nostalgic, amusing and filled with warm human detail, 'Our Land at War' is a living history - a rich, textured account of the profound changes to ordinary rural lives produced by an extraordinary time.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 240 x 159 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A rich account of the impact of the Second World War on the lives of people living in the farms and villages of Britain. On the outbreak of war, the countryside was invaded by service personnel and evacuee children by the thousand; land was taken arbitrarily for airfields, training grounds and firing ranges, and whole communities were evicted. Prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy soldiers to close quarters, and as horses gave way to tractors and combines farmers were burdened with aggressive new restrictions on what they could and could not grow. Land Girls and Lumber Jills worked in fields and forests. Food - or the lack of it - was a major preoccupation and rationing strictly enforced. And although rabbits were poached, apples scrumped and mushrooms gathered, there was still not enough to eat. Drawing from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews, Duff Hart Davis revisits rural Britain to describe how ordinary people survived the war years. He tells of houses turned over to military use such as Bletchley and RAF Medmenham as well as those that became schools, notably Chatsworth in Derbyshire. Combining both hardship and farce, the book examines the profound changes war brought to Britain s countryside: from the Home Guard, struggling with the provision of ludicrous equipment, to the role of the XII Corps Observation Unit. whose task was to enlarge rabbit warrens and badger setts into bunkers for harassing the enemy in the event of a German invasion; to the unexpected tenderness shown by many to German and Italian prisoners-of-war at work on the land. Fascinating, sad and at times hilarious, this warm-hearted book tells great stories - and casts new light on Britain during the war. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007516537

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 240 x 159 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A rich account of the impact of the Second World War on the lives of people living in the farms and villages of Britain. On the outbreak of war, the countryside was invaded by service personnel and evacuee children by the thousand; land was taken arbitrarily for airfields, training grounds and firing ranges, and whole communities were evicted. Prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy soldiers to close quarters, and as horses gave way to tractors and combines farmers were burdened with aggressive new restrictions on what they could and could not grow. Land Girls and Lumber Jills worked in fields and forests. Food - or the lack of it - was a major preoccupation and rationing strictly enforced. And although rabbits were poached, apples scrumped and mushrooms gathered, there was still not enough to eat. Drawing from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews, Duff Hart Davis revisits rural Britain to describe how ordinary people survived the war years. He tells of houses turned over to military use such as Bletchley and RAF Medmenham as well as those that became schools, notably Chatsworth in Derbyshire. Combining both hardship and farce, the book examines the profound changes war brought to Britain s countryside: from the Home Guard, struggling with the provision of ludicrous equipment, to the role of the XII Corps Observation Unit. whose task was to enlarge rabbit warrens and badger setts into bunkers for harassing the enemy in the event of a German invasion; to the unexpected tenderness shown by many to German and Italian prisoners-of-war at work on the land. Fascinating, sad and at times hilarious, this warm-hearted book tells great stories - and casts new light on Britain during the war. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007516537

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45, Duff Hart-Davis, A rich account of the impact of the Second World War on the lives of people living in the farms and villages of Britain. On the outbreak of war, the countryside was invaded by service personnel and evacuee children by the thousand; land was taken arbitrarily for airfields, training grounds and firing ranges, and whole communities were evicted. Prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy soldiers to close quarters, and as horses gave way to tractors and combines farmers were burdened with aggressive new restrictions on what they could and could not grow. Land Girls and Lumber Jills worked in fields and forests. Food - or the lack of it - was a major preoccupation and rationing strictly enforced. And although rabbits were poached, apples scrumped and mushrooms gathered, there was still not enough to eat. Drawing from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews, Duff Hart Davis revisits rural Britain to describe how ordinary people survived the war years. He tells of houses turned over to military use such as Bletchley and RAF Medmenham as well as those that became schools, notably Chatsworth in Derbyshire. Combining both hardship and farce, the book examines the profound changes war brought to Britain's countryside: from the Home Guard, struggling with the provision of ludicrous equipment, to the role of the XII Corps Observation Unit. whose task was to enlarge rabbit warrens and badger setts into bunkers for harassing the enemy in the event of a German invasion; to the unexpected tenderness shown by many to German and Italian prisoners-of-war at work on the land. Fascinating, sad and at times hilarious, this warm-hearted book tells great stories - and casts new light on Britain during the war. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007516537

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