Richard Brown - an ordinary member of the public - kept a personal diary throughout the whole of World War II, recording war news as he perceived it, gleaned from newspapers, hearsay and the wireless. Along with this narrative of the war, he presented an image of life in wartime Britain - rationing, blackout restrictions, interrupted sleep, the prospect of evacuation and the enormous burden placed on those civilians coping with a full-time job and the extra demands of war work. In addition to his reserved occupation as a draughtsman, Richard Brown also "did his bit" for the war effort as an air-raid warden, Home Guard and occasional Fire Watcher. Like so many others, Richard Brown was inspired by Churchill's leadership and oratory. Looking abroad, he was as disgusted by the French capitulation as he was admiring of the Russians. He never doubted ultimate victory, but he was frequently impatient and critical of the conduct of the war. A well-informed man who made his own judgements, Mr Brown's diary entries were carefully considered; his observations range from the pithy to the humorous and the scathing.
The diaries offer a window on the period, reflecting the moral and social attitudes of the time and the need to be fully involved in the war effort, but they also refute the argument that the British public was kept in ignorance of the bad news.
Publisher: The History Press Ltd