In the great scheme of things people often forget
that many of Devon’s towns and villages, far from
being sleepy wartime backwaters, played a vital role
in the fight against the nazis. Indeed it has been said
that Devon was among the most militarily active of
any county during the Second World War.
In this book the author looks at his home town of
Exmouth during the war years, drawing on years of
collecting information and images, and interviewing
many people who lived through the period and
whose eye-witness accounts are included here.
A small but important port at the mouth of the River
Exe, the town was victim to a number of raids including
a devastating attack from the air in February
1943 in which 26 people were killed, many wounded,
with great destruction of property. This and many
other aspects of wartime in the town are covered,
including: The Home Guard; Children in Wartime;
The Exmouth Civil Defence; The Role of Women in
War; and the American Presence.
With over 150 photographs, this important book will
fascinate anyone who has a connection to Exmouth
past or present, and all those interested in the history
of the war on the Home Front.
Arthur Cook lives in Exmouth and has
spent much of his recent life recording
and collection memories of wartime from
local people. His interest in this period of
history started when he was a small boy
when most of the toys he played with, including
comics that he read and the films
that he watched, were about the war. His
interest in music also centred on the
1930s and 40s and when he met his wife
in 2004, they decided to combine their
interests and formed ‘Blitz and Peaces’, a
live World War Two music show with
which they now tour Britain, performing
at living history events, museums, schools
and preserved steam railways. Exmouth at
War is his first book soon to be followed
by a book on the Home Guard, also to
be published by Halsgrove.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 071 8, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published October 2010.