Alan Allport, the author of the forth coming book: Demobbed, will be joining us from tomorrow (18 June 2009), here at the Yale London Blog, to retell the day-by-day British experience of military demobilisation after the Second World War.
The starting date is not accidental: Monday, 18 June, 1945 was the first day of releases from wartime HM Forces, a process which went on for over eighteen months and which saw most of the five million men and women in uniform on V-E Day returned to civilian life. His intention is to post-blog the first 365 days of the demobilisation experience, the period in which the bulk of all service personnel were discharged and during which the most interesting – and controversial – events occured. He will be drawing on contemporary newspaper accounts, principally from the Times, the Daily and Sunday Express, Daily Herald, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Manchester Guardian, News Chronicle, News of the World, and the People; magazines such as John Bull, the New Statesman, Punch, the Spectator, and Woman; service papers like Union Jack and Soldier; and contemporary accounts from the document archives collected by the Imperial War Museum, London.
“Wonderfully researched, sensitively written and often very moving, Demobbed tells an important, underappreciated story that still resonates today” – David Kynaston
Snapshots of gaiety and celebration – the street parties, the victory speeches – are how some people today think of Britain in 1945. But the years following the end of World War II were far from a ‘golden age’ of pride and self-confidence. The country was troubled though triumphant, subject to continued rationing and political change. Wracked by social disorder, austerity and disillusion, Britain was exhausted – and it was the return of those men who had fought for their country who seemed to be a root cause of the trouble.
We invite you to join us in this unique oppourtunity, to gain insight on the real story of what happened when millions of ex-servicemen returned home.