Hackney at War by Jenny Golden
World War II had a dramatic impact on Stoke Newington, Shoreditch and Hackney. This book marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the conflict by describing in words and photographs, how six years of war affected the daily lives of the people of the area. The author draws upon wartime newspaper reports, personal recollections and official records in order to recreate the atmosphere of the time and show how ordinary people reacted to the challenge represented by this extraordinary time. The story begins in the late 1930s, at the time of the Munich crisis abroad and of clashes between fascists and communists at home. It goes on to recall the outbreak of hostilities with Hitler's Germany, the war that followed, the organization of Civil Defence workers across the borough, and the heavy casualites and widespread destruction caused by the Blitz. The emphasis throughout is on the memorable details of of daily life during those six difficult years. The text explores the realities of rationing, for instance, and relates how the war influenced schools, businesses and industry, and changed family life. The story ends with a description of the V1 and V2 missile attacks, the celebrations on VE and VJ days and the Labour Party's victory in the 1945 elections.