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1940s Society Shop >  Books >  Home Front

Home Front

A great selection of books relating to life on the home front during WWII.


Churchill's Secret Defence Army: Resisting the Nazi Invader

Churchill's Secret Defence Army: Resisting the Nazi Invader


Price: 14.99


Formed in the Summer of 1940, in great secrecy, this force of 'stay behind' saboteurs and assassins was intended to cause havoc behind the German front line should the Wehrmacht gain a foothold in Britain. Their mission was to go to cover, hiding in underground bunkers for the first 14 days of invasion and then springing up, at nightfall, to gather intelligence, interrogate prisoners, destroying fuel and ammunition dumps as they went about their deadly business.

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (18 Feb. 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1848848085
Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm



Churchill's Underground Army: A History of the Auxiliary Units in World War ll

Churchill's Underground Army: A History of the Auxiliary Units in World War ll


Price: 8.99


'A carefully researched book on a long-neglected subject which fills a major gap in our Second World War knowledge' - Norman Longmate, author of If Britain Had Fallen British Secret Intelligence Service officers and others in the War Office were never convinced that appeasement would prevent a Nazi invasion. Defying high-level opposition, they quietly worked instead on preemptive 'Last Ditch' survival plans. These included a secret resistance network known as the GHQ Auxiliary Units. It was the only one in Europe prepared in advance of an enemy assault.The Auxunits were civilian 'stay-behinds'. One section worked as Patrols, usually consisting of half-a-dozen men in hidden underground operational bases. They were hurriedly selected immediately after the Dunkirk evacuation then trained and equipped with firearms, explosives and booby-traps. Instructed to 'stay-behind' underground as the enemy passed over, they were then to emerge each night to commit mayhem for as long as they could stay alive. Others, men and women, would remain behind above ground, to spy on the enemy and communicate intelligence to the Defence Force by a covert radio network. These Units are still effectively secret and this is the most comprehensive history published to date.

Paperback
Publisher: Frontline Books
ISBN-13: 978-1848325159




Ode to Bully Beef: WWII Poetry They Didn't Let You Read

Ode to Bully Beef: WWII Poetry They Didn't Let You Read


Price: 5.99


'The Second World War (1939-45) was not greeted with the same lavish outpouring of patriotic fervour that had attended August 1914. Any rags of glory had long since been drowned in the mud of Flanders. The Great War had been heralded as 'the war to end all wars'; veterans were promised 'a land fit for heroes'. Both of these vain boasts soon began to sound hollow as depression, unemployment, poverty and a rash of new wars followed. The sons and daughters of those who had embarked upon their own patriotic Calvary did so again in an altogether more sombre spirit.

One significant difference between the two conflicts is that, whilst both were industrial wars, the Second World War was far nearer, the concept of total war. The growth of strategic air power, in its infancy in 1918, had by 1939 become a reality. In this war, even more widespread and terrible than the last, there were to be no civilians. Death sought new victims everywhere; British citizens were now in the front line, there was to be no respite, no hiding place.

This is the poetry and prose of those who were there, ordinary people caught in the terrible maelstrom of mass conflict on a scale hitherto unimagined; this is their testimony.


Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: The History Press (3 Mar. 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0752491899
Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 19.6 cm





Air Raid Shelters of the Second World War: Family Stories of Survival in the Blitz

Air Raid Shelters of the Second World War: Family Stories of Survival in the Blitz


Price: 9.99


This fascinating wartime social history accounts the establishment and use of Air Raid shelters in Britain during the Blitz of World War II. Chapters cover the nature and locations of the raids, the diversity of shelters and the 'culture' and nostalgia of shelter life. The author looks at contemporary developments such as urban archaeology, and collecting as well as the design of shelters including public shelters, and the Anderson air raid shelters in people gardens. The book includes a wealth of material collected from people who experienced shelter life. Much of this material covers regional accounts of major wartime events and mainly looks at the following cities: London Sheffield, Hull, Liverpool, Plymouth and Coventry. As well as first hand accounts the author uses many different primary sources to tell this history including memoirs, official publications and general historical works.

Stephen Wade is a military and crime history specialist. A writer-in-residence at several prisons, his recent books for Pen & Sword included DNA Investigations and Tracing Your Criminal Ancestors. He has also written about military intelligence in the Zulu War, Spies in the Empire and Queen Victoria's Spymaster.


Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military; First Edition edition (21 April 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-1848843271
Dimensions: 16 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm





The Home Front in World War Two: Keep Calm and Carry On

The Home Front in World War Two: Keep Calm and Carry On


Price: 9.99


This book brings an era to life with vivid stories and information from those who were there. During World War Two, 90% of the British population remained civilians. The War affected daily life more than any other war had done before. The majority of British people faced this will fortitude, courage and determination and this is their story, the telling of events and situations that forced their ingenuity and survival instincts to rise. 'Make do and mend' came to mean so much more than reworking old clothes and this book describes the enterprise that went on and has long been forgotten. From the coasts and the countryside, this is how those at home faced and fought the war passively, particularly women whose job it was to 'keep the home fires burning.' These ordinary people were crucial to the war effort; without their courage and inventiveness, the outcome could have been very different. Packed with interviews, photographs and other first hand information, this book will appeal to all those who were there, but even more for those with little or no experience of World War Two, who will gain insights into the humour, strength and creativity that emerged in the face of hardship and tragedy. The book explores how people lived in Britain during times of fear, hardship and uncertainty; how they functioned and supported those away fighting - and how they dealt with the enormous challenges and adversities.

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Remember When (17 Jan. 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1848848184
Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm


War Crimes: Underworld Britain in the Second World War

War Crimes: Underworld Britain in the Second World War


Price: 12.99


The Second World War was a defining experience in British history. It shaped us, made us what we are, and we are still fascinated by it. And one of the most extraordinary aspects of this unique war was the effect it had on crime - and this is the focus of M.J. Trow's compelling survey. He does not write solely about servicemen who committed crime - although there were many of them - and he does not celebrate heroes. On the contrary, his account highlights the unheroic, the weak and the corrupt. And it draws attention to something perhaps uniquely British - the will of the people to cope, be it housewives with rationing, the police with the black market or magistrates all too aware that 'careless talk costs lives'. The war may have been Britain's finest hour, but during it there were many dark moments which M.J. Trow explores in his intriguing study.

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation; First Edition edition (24 July 2008)
ISBN-13: 978-1844157280
Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm


My Grandad the Air Raid Warden

My Grandad the Air Raid Warden


Price: 9.99


Traumatised by his experiences both as a gunner in the First World War and twenty years later as an Air Raid Warden in 1940 s Woolwich, Reg Burt finds it impossible to talk to his grandson, Tom about his early life. However, following a visit to a local fair Reg decides to write a journal for his grandson about what he did during the war detailing his experiences in graphic detail. Following Reg s death, Tom s parents give him the journal allowing him at last through his beloved grandfather s words and sketches to learn about his life and the grandmother he never knew.

Written by Steve Hookins who gave an informative and entertaining talk on the Air Raid Warden during the Second World War.




The New Forest at War - Revised and Updated

The New Forest at War - Revised and Updated


Price: 14.99


The New Forest at War documents aspects of the social and military history of this unique area of Britain during the years of the Second World War. The Forest was on the front line of the massive build-up and launch of D-Day in June 1944. Although many parts of Britain contributed to the final assault, it was this part of Hampshire that was used as the primary assembly and departure point. There were over 100,000 troops under canvas and thousands of military vehicles parked in the quiet country lanes throughout the area. There were also many thousands of ships off the Forest coastline in the waters of the Solent.

First published in 2004 this updated edition of The New Forest at War contains additional images and anecdotes which will add both to the reading experience and to visits to the Forest. This highly acclaimed book tells the story of the area during WW2 and its heritage, underpinned now by the New Forest National Park Authority which has implemented and hosts an area wide preservation scheme. The book contains many photographs with firsthand accounts of the Forest during WW2 with reminiscences from military sources as well as civilians. It provides a fascinating snapshot of life at this critical time in the nation’s history and it will be of interest to everyone who visits, lives or works in the Forest and to all those with an interest in Britain’s wartime heritage.




Click here for more information

CC41 Utility Clothing - The Label that Transformed British Fashion

CC41 Utility Clothing - The Label that Transformed British Fashion


Price: 19.95


In Stock and Available NOW

The Utility symbol, CC41, is one of the most iconic symbols in the history of clothing in Britain; instantly recognisable to anyone who lived in Britain through the Second World War or the immediate postwar years.

Mike Brown looks at the background to, and the evolution of, the clothing scheme and the symbol as it changed to include more items of clothing, from underwear to fur coats. He also addresses the often misunderstood subject of 'Super Utility', and the so-called 'Dinner plate' mark, uncovering the truth behind a subject shrouded in mystery since its introduction.

A fascinating explanation of a little understood scheme with a wealth of knowledge complimented by colour photographs and original illustrations throughout



The Pin-up in World War II

The Pin-up in World War II


Price: 6.99



With the advent of the World War II, millions of men were torn from their homes and plunged into the impersonal surrounding of the barrack room. They took with them a few personal belongings to remind them of home, and to make their 'space' a little more welcoming. These included photos of loved ones and, of course, pin-ups. These might be photographs or illustrations cut from popular magazines, or some of the many postcards then on sale. Using examples from British and overseas magazines, posters, postcards and nose-art from the period, this book gives a flavour of the many delights available to the servicemen.

Author Mike Brown, an authority on the period, has researched deeply in archive sources to bring together a fascinating selection of photographs, picture postcards, artworks and drawings of beautiful women in beguiling poses. Ranging from the tasteful nude portraits to the erotically charged paintings of artists like Alberto Vargas and the whimsical humour of Norman Pett's Jane, this book provides a wonderfully evocative vision of an age gone by.

Doing their Bit - Home Front Lapel Badges 1939-1945

Doing their Bit - Home Front Lapel Badges 1939-1945


Price: 45.00


"Books on badges do not come any better than this one-clear informative text, brilliant layout, superb illustration and really easy to use. The book can also be held up as an example of how lapel badges have a story to tell and are small nuggets of social history. Indeed you do not have to be a badge collector to enjoy this work, anyone with an interest in the Home Front will be fascinated by the story and especially impressed by the level of detail that Jon incorporates."
The badge collectors circle.

This 280 page hardback book has been extensively updated and is illustrated with over 600 wartime lapel badges and ephemera. It records the wartime history of over 200 organisations and should be on the shelves of anyone with an interest in the history of wartime Britain.

Air Raids & Ration Books - Life on the Home Front in Wartime Britain

Air Raids & Ration Books - Life on the Home Front in Wartime Britain


Price: 17.00


How did you prepare your home and family for the air raids. What were the blackout regulations and how did people cope with them. How did hard-pressed housewives feed their families on ever-tightened rations, and what were the rations and what were the alternatives, how was clothing rationed, how did you furnish, decorate, heat and even clean your house in the face of yet more rationing. How did people travel with the blackout, petrol rationing, road blocks and restrictions? ‘Air Raids and Ration Books’ answers these and many other questions about everyday life on the home front.
(RRP £20)

NOW IN STOCK!!

I crrently have a stock of this book that have been individually signed by the authors Mike Brown & Carol Harris making it an extra special gift.

Digging For Victory - Gardens & Gardening in Wartime Britain

Digging For Victory - Gardens & Gardening in Wartime Britain


Price: 17.00


Watch a video via YouTube

Beans as bullets', 'Vegetables for Victory' and 'Cloches against Hitler': these slogans convey just how vital gardening and growing food were to the British war effort during the Second World War. Exhorted to 'Grow More Food', then to 'Dig for Victory', Britain's 'allotment army' was soon out in force, growing as many vegetables as possible in suburban allotments, private gardens, even the grounds of stately homes.
(RRP £20)

NOW IN STOCK!!

Allotment & Garden Guide - A monthly guide to better wartime gardening

Allotment & Garden Guide - A monthly guide to better wartime gardening


Price: 8.99


Watch a video via YouTube

Produced by the Ministry of Agriculture, the "Allotment and Garden Guides" were issued monthly throughout 1945. Aimed at the amateur gardener, they were to be the final rallying call in the wartime campaign to Dig for Victory.

Here, Twigs Way gives an historical overview to gardening during the Second World War and comments on each month of the guide.

I may be slightly biased but I think this is a superb book, packed with additional photographs and illustrations and is full of useful tips for gardeners as well as being a fascinating book for those interested in Britains Home Front.

(Hardback, RRP £9.99)

The 1940s Look - Recreating the Fashions, Hairstyles and Make-up of World War Two

The 1940s Look - Recreating the Fashions, Hairstyles and Make-up of World War Two


Price: 14.99


Watch a video via YouTube

At last the book we've been waiting for. The 1940s Look by historian and author Mike Brown, tells you everything you need to know about the fashions of wartime and the impact that rationing, the Utility scheme, changing tastes and the demands of everyday life had on the styles people wore. Covering Men, Women, Children, Accessories, Hair Styles, Make-up, and much more, its a must have book.

Comprehensively illustrated throughout in colour, this large format, 280x229mm 144 page book is an ideal reference for re-enactors, fashion students or anyone interested in the 1940s
(RRP £16.99)

The 1950s Look - Recreating the Fashions of the Fifties

The 1950s Look - Recreating the Fashions of the Fifties


Price: 14.99


With an end to the drab war years came a bright new optimism and exciting new fashions ruffled through the wardrobes of the nation. Discover the fashions, hairstyles, make-up and accessories that made this decade so special. Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, this is essential reading for anyone interested in social history and fifties fashion.
(RRP £16.99)

Buying & Selling Wartime Collectables

Buying & Selling Wartime Collectables


Price: 14.95


Arthur Ward & Richard Ingrim offer you the benefit of their extensive knowledge and experience to guide you round the world of military collectables, from badges, books and posters, to helmets, tunics and weapons. A nicely produced, well illustrated, full colour, hardback book.
RRP £19.95. ISBN: 9781861268921

The Home Front - British Wartime Memorabilia

The Home Front - British Wartime Memorabilia


Price: 16.95


Peter Doyle and Paul Evans have put together a huge selection of objects associated with the Home Front, each one superbly illustrated and described in detail. This book is a treasure trove of information for collectors, and anyone interested in the Home Front. Full colour hardback book.
RRP £25.00. ISBN: 9781861269270

The Black-Out Book

The Black-Out Book


Price: 8.99


Evelyn August brings together over five hundred games, pensees, puzzles, jokes and literary snippets which provided some amusement during the long nights of the blitz. A fun book thats difficult to put down once you start reading it. Great for parties and get togethers.

(Hardback, RRP £9.99)

Utility Furniture

Utility Furniture


Price: 9.99


A comprehensive guide to the introduction of wartime Utility Furniture by Jon Mills. Lots of illustrations, colour throughout, also includes a complete reproduction of the first Utility Catalogue which was published in 1943. Hardback.

The Day Peace Broke Out - The VE-Day Experience

The Day Peace Broke Out - The VE-Day Experience


Price: 9.99


Indidually signed by the author.
This excellent book is illustrated with photographs, adverts, posters and cartoons, describing the celebrations in Britain and accross the world.

Mike Brown, an authority on the British Home Front, charts the nations progressive change of heart from defeatism to growing confidance of certain victory. He looks at the post-VE-Day period, the victory over Japan in August 1945 and concludes with the harsh realisation of post war austerity that led many britains to conclude that they had won the war but lost the peace.
(RRP £12.99)

Each book has been individually signed by the Author - An ideal gift!!

The British Home Front 1939 - 45 by Martin J Brayley

The British Home Front 1939 - 45 by Martin J Brayley


Price: 11.99


As one of the Ospray elite series of books this is an excellent and well illustrated introduction to some of the British Home Front services. It benefits from a nice selection of original photographs and some excellent illustrations by Malcolm McGregor. A very useful resource to have on the bookshelf.



Out Of Stock
Identity Cards, Permits and Passes - Within The Island Fortress - The uniforms, Insignia & Ephemera of the Home Front in Britain 1939-1945,

Identity Cards, Permits and Passes - Within The Island Fortress - The uniforms, Insignia & Ephemera of the Home Front in Britain 1939-1945,


Price: 14.00


by Jon Mills.

Everyone in Britain during the Second World War had to have the correct identification documents and there were a huge number and variety depending on who you were. Civilians, Children, Policeman, War Workers, Army, Navy, RAF, Allied servicemen of every nation (US, Polish, French etc.), and many more, each differant.
Never before has such a superb guide been put together in one book. Jon Mills has once again put together THE essential guide for collectors, historians, re-enactors or anyone interested in Britains Homefront.

SPECIAL OFFER
FREE with every copy ordered from the 1940s Society.
A blank reproduction identity card.

The Women's Voluntary Services (WVS) 1939-45 Within The Island Fortress - The uniforms, Insignia & Ephemera of the Home Front in Britain 1939-1945,

The Women's Voluntary Services (WVS) 1939-45 Within The Island Fortress - The uniforms, Insignia & Ephemera of the Home Front in Britain 1939-1945,


Price: 9.50


by Jon Mills.

This is the definative reference work for the 'ladies in green' featuring superb photographs of original uniforms, badges and ephemera worn during WW2. An essential guide for re-enactors and collectors, this excellent book is the first in a series on Home Front organisations. Lady Reading formed the WVS in 1938 and the service saw front line action throughout WW2. As with Jon's other reference works on the ARP and The Home Guard, meticulous attention to detail and focus on important facts give the historian and collector a real checklist with background to support the findings. Illustrated throughout with black and white as well as colour photographs.

Hair & Wiggs for the Stage

Hair & Wiggs for the Stage


Price: 7.99


The only reason I have a stock of this book is because I get so many enquiries about hair. This book is very multi-period but does have a couple of good general sections and some nice bits specifically about 1930s and 1940s hairstyles. If you have an interest in hairstyles then you'll find this book of interest.

(Hardback, RRP 14.99)

30s & 40s Britain

30s & 40s Britain


Price: 3.99


Life in Britain during the depression and the Blitz, and the new technology that shaped the way we live today.
A brief general outline with lots of colour photographs and illustrations.
Paperback

Out Of Stock
BRITAIN - The First Colour Photographs

BRITAIN - The First Colour Photographs


Price: 14.95


I have managed to obtain a further quantity of this hard to find book after selling out rather quickly.

It is a book of colour photographs of Britain during the Second World War. These photographs were taken by U.S. serviceman who either had access to rare colour film or had managed to bring it over here with them. A unique book which I recommend to those with an interest in wartime Britain.

   RICH RELATIONS The American Occupation of Britain 1942-1945 by David Reynolds

RICH RELATIONS The American Occupation of Britain 1942-1945 by David Reynolds


Price: 9.95


David Reynolds' readable and scholarly yet entertaining book explores the rich variety of relations between pushy, homesick American GIs, famously lampooned as 'over-paid, over-sexed, over-fed and over here' and their British hosts - 'under-sexed, under-paid, under-fed and under Eisenhower' - during the Second World War.
Paperback, 555 pages
RRP 14.99

The Gentlemen at War Policing Britain 1939-45 by Roy Ingleton

The Gentlemen at War Policing Britain 1939-45 by Roy Ingleton


Price: 20.00


With little having been written about the role and work of the Police Force in Britain during World War Two it is a delight to dicover such a comprehensive volume.

This book examines the changed role of the wartime police force and the effect the War had on the morals and mores of the population.
Paperback, 392 pages

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