Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers


Sheila Crossley

The Second World War began three weeks before Sheila Crossley’s 10th birthday. It finally ended the month before she turned sixteen.

She suffered from Covid after three of her four vaccinations, while her husband/carer was admitted to hospital in emergency for three days unconscious on ventilator followed by a week on oxygen.

She slept underground throughout the Blitz seated upright on a narrow bench among seven others, with condensation running down the corrugated iron at her back. In the tiny floor space were a pair of earthenware flowerpots enclosing a lit candle giving light and warmth. And a bucket.

Her father’s efforts succeeded in providing some continuity in her school life that was lacking in their unfortunate circumstances. But the disruption to her education caused by the War was aggravated by administrative errors in the schools.

She had obtained a pair of shoes that had not first been grown out of by someone else and was saving up for a winter coat.

Her father also worked full time and had never been unemployed. But he was still paying off debts that had been incurred by the illnesses and deaths of the author’s two younger brothers, a younger sister and her mother. Her stepmother worked at home trimming hats and/or doing raffia work on shopping bags.

After the war ended when there were men wearing large badges informing folk that they were displaced persons, for example Italians who had been prisoners of war but had since been employed at the gas works, she learned to say ‘NO’ in several different languages. A friend told her that some Americans had difficulty understanding the word but could be helped by a hefty kick on the shins.

However, by then the author could move into the second-cheapest cinema seats on her weekly visit and buy a choc-ice in the interval. Sheer luxury!

Sheila Crossley
Author's Books
My Wartime vs. Pandemic

Everyone now knows what life is like during a Pandemic but if you have ever wondered whether living through it is better or worse than living in a World War, this little book is for you.In this contest of war versus pandemic, personal recollections illustrate what life was like in the years immedi...

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