Schoolboy's Wartime Letters, A

Schoolboy's Wartime Letters, A

An evacuee's life in WWII — a personal memoir

A boy writes home during WWII, revealing his own fascinating story, full of zest for life, information and humour.


This funny, fascinating journal follows the development of a boy and his changing attitudes during WW II from its outbreak in September 1939 to victory in the summer of 1945. It is a memoir based on the original letters, around a hundred and ninety in total, written by the author to his parents and carefully preserved over the years. There are also several contemporary photographs. He was an only child and full of his own selfish needs, vanity, hypochondria, prejudices and unquestioning patriotism. The letters carry strong echoes of ‘Just William’ and ‘Adrian Mole’ . 'Health and Safety' was nowhere in sight! There is also a wealth of information about childhood games, hobbies, mock battles, sport, school life and wartime concerns.

Extract read by actor Bernard Cribbins as part of BBC concert to mark 70 years since VE Day. The concert aired on BBC 1 and Radio 2 was a mixture of live musical performances and readings from famous actors and actresses of various accounts from the second world war.

Geoffrey Iley: "It was a truly amazing experience for me - and even more so for the wonderful veteran servicemen who were able to attend. I still have no idea how the producers stumbled across my book and found that excerpt. I thought that Bernard Cribbins did a really brilliant job with the reading - a former Doctor Who! It doesn't get much better than this."


I found it truly extraordinary to be allowed this insight into how it was to be a boy then and live through those years...... I found your letters hugely enlightening. Thank you. ~ Michael Morpurgo, Author of War Horse

Dinky toys and Spitfires, fags and flying bombs. A personal and poignant insight into a Wartime Childhood. (The) experiences were certainly different to mine and all the more interesting for that! ~ Michael Foreman, award-winning author of 'War Boy'

The Imperial War Museum is eager to acquire this collection of original letters. ~ Ellen Parton, Archivist, Imperial War Museum

Geoffrey Iley
Geoffrey Iley Geoffrey Iley has been writing since childhood, but his working life was in manufacturing, where he became an executive director in the Moto...
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