Non-Fiction Books:

Bombs, Stinging Nettles and Doodlebugs


Paperback / softback

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Bombs, Stinging Nettles and Doodlebugs by Maurice, Goymer
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Montpelier Gardens, East Ham: not a bad place for a growing boy, if you liked sports and were happy at school. But this was 1939, and World War II was just around the corner. At first it was all very exciting. There were aerial dogfights over London, evacuation to the countryside and new horizons, girls and aircraft to be identified, and the certainty of a swift victory. Then, with the mass bombings of the East End by the Luftwaffe, came the realisation that death was round the corner - literally. The nettles had a sting. And even when the Blitz was over, a terrifying new weapon was unleashed over Southern England - the V-1 flying bomb or 'doodlebug'. When the engine cut out you had ten seconds to live, as the author found out - almost! Bombs, Stinging Nettles and Doodlebugs tells the experiences of a Londoner who was ten when war was declared, and a young man of sixteen when peace finally arrived. It is a story which involves many people in many diverse situations. It involves humour and it involves tragedy; but above all it bears witness to a time when people really cared for each other. Personal recollections, often told with a chilling eye for detail, are interwoven with sketches of the war's progress, giving an historical backdrop to what is an amazingly clear narrative. The author is not shy about addressing the bigger moral issues of warfare, and is glad to thank those - particularly the New Zealanders - who helped us when we stood alone. 'Above all,' he says, 'I remember the humour, the steadfastness, the friendship and the courage of my fellow citizens at that time.' Have we deserved their sacrifices?
Release date Australia
December 1st, 2006
New Generation Publishing
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