City of London at War 1939-45
...Towns & Cities in WW2, from Pen & Sword
Title: City of London at War 1939-45
Author: Stephen Wynn
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Part of the series of books telling the stories of many towns and cities around the UK, this one tackles the story of the City of London, that square mile in the heart of the capital, with, technically, a bit of poetic licence to take in the Tower of London and the London Underground.
A 169-page soft-cover book, it is divided into 13 chapters, the first 7 of which tell a host of stories about people and events that took place in each year of the war, from 1939 through to 1945. The City had people who lived there, who are important to the book, but it also had plenty of famous buildings and equally famous visitors who went there during the course of the war. Naturally the period of the Blitz, when Luftwaffe bombers regularly attacked the city, the people who were killed and famous buildings which were damaged, or not. Places such as the Mansion House and Guildhall were the scenes of famous speeches, including from the likes ot Winston Churchill and General De Gaulle. Then there are chapters that look more particularly at the City of London Home Guard Units, Memorials which can still be found there today, the Tower of London, St.Bartholomew's Hospital ('Barts'), the Regiments of the City of London, and finally, the City of London Outcasts. This last one does sound odd, but apart from children who were evacuated, the Central Cheque Clearing House, a vital part of the then banking system, was moved out of the way of the Blitz.
For anyone who has worked in the City will I am sure find this interesting, as so many of the places it includes are world famous and to see how the people who had to live through it coped with life during those years of war, the ARP wardens, the Fire Watchers and more. It also records the memory of the many civilians and service personnel who lost their lives during the war, either in the city or while abroad on active service. An interesting read even if you have never lived or worked in this famous City.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.