Carrying on at the homefront

As the introduction to this lovely little book says, the history of the Second World war continues to horrify and fascinate us, and often leaves us wondering - how would I have coped? What would I have done?
The British Home Front Pocket-book is a mix of official documentation from the second world war that covers aspects of life from rationing, to how to build an air raid shelter, conscription, the uses of radio and TV, to how to deal with an incendiary bomb in the street. 
On the latter, the advice if the bomb has landed in an unsafe place is to pick up a sandbag (placed in doorways and at lamp posts for just this sort of thing), approach the bomb, place the sandbag on it (don't throw it, whatever you do), then run!

The author has taken leaflets and official publications such as The Evacuation Leaflet, Public Information Leaflet No. 3 issued in July 1939:
There are still a number of people who ask "What is the need for all this business about evacuation? Surely if war comes it would be better for families to stick together and not go breaking up their homes?"...If we were involved in war, our big cities might be subjected to determined attacks from the air-at any rate in the early stages-and although our defences are strong and are rapidly growing stronger, some bombers would undoubtedly get through.... one of the first measures we can take to prevent this is the removal of the children from the more dangerous areas.

On the chapter covering Air Raids: "Your Home as an air raid shelter" (Issued by the Ministry of Home Security, 1940) offers practical suggestions:
"There are three ways in which you can provide your household with shelter. First, you can buy a ready-made shelter to bury or erect in the garden. Secondly, you can have a shelter of brick and concrete built into or attached to the house. Thirdly, you can improve the natural protection given by your house by forming a "refuge room."  The first two of these generally give better protection against bomb splinters than the third but cost more."

From "The British Home Front Pocket-Book 1940-1942"
This is a fascinating little book to have a browse through. There is only one copy on Auckland Libraries catalogue, and it's a reference only copy at the Central Research Centre. You'll find it on the shelf along with plenty of books that detail this period of England's history, memories that still live on with some of our families today.

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