Debs at War

Debs at War

An extraordinary account – from firsthand sources – of upper class women and the active part they took in the War

Pre-war debutantes were members of the most protected, not to say isolated, stratum of 20th-century society: the young (17-20) unmarried daughters of the British upper classes. For most of them, the war changed all that for ever. It meant independence and the shock of the new, and daily exposure to customs and attitudes that must have seemed completely alien to them. For many, the almost military regime of an upper class childhood meant they were well suited for the no-nonsense approach needed in wartime.

This book records the extraordinary diversity of challenges, shocks and responsibilities they faced – as chauffeurs, couriers, ambulance-drivers, nurses, pilots, spies, decoders, factory workers, farmers, land girls, as well as in the Women’s Services. How much did class barriers really come down? Did they stick with their own sort? And what about fun and love in wartime – did love cross the class barriers?
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Genre: Humanities / History / Military History / Second World War

On Sale: 20th December 2012

Price: £9.99

ISBN-13: 9781780225753

Reviews

This book records the extraordinary diversity of challenges, shocks and responsibilities they faced - as chauffeurs, couriers, ambulance-drivers, nurses, pilots, spies, decoders, factory workers, farmers, land girls, as well as in the Women's Services.
EVENING STANDARD
Produces some memorable cameos. Among the most memorable are those of a young girl delivering local post from her grandmother's Scottish estate with a 4.10 rifle slung over her shoulder, ready to fire at German planes, oddest of all, perhaps, is an account from one of Lord Rothermere's daughters, of tea being served on the terrace by a butler in white gloves while a dogfight raged overhead
Miranda Seymour
She captures within one book a vivid impression of those years, a short history of the women's services, a closely focused view of an exotic corner of social history, and a lot of human interest. It all makes riveting reading
LITERARY REVIEW
A wonderful slice of social history, and Anne de Courcy is a skilled interviewer with a sure eye for the telling quotation or the stand-out detail
MAIL ON SUNDAY
Despite their odd upbringing and closeted lives, the young gels of upper-class England rose to the challenge of the Second World War with grit and gumption
DAILY TELEGRAPH