John Harding was just eight and a half years old
when war was declared in 1939. His is the ‘Voice
of a schoolboy’ in this remarkable memoir of an
idyllic childhood spent In Cornwall against the
background of the dark clouds of war.
Moving from Bristol to Plymouth in what has been
described as ‘England's darkest hour’, he, together
with his mother, brother and sisters, experience
the horrors of the Blitz, as a result of which –
joined by their father – they move to the remote
and seemingly peaceful region bordering the Fal
estuary in Cornwall.
For a young boy the estuary, creeks and countryside,
with its woods and fields offer a paradise for
exploration. Befriending local children and fellow
evacuees, they discover the delights of messing
about in boats which provided them with a
However as the war progresses it intrudes more
and more into their lives and the importance of
Falmouth as a strategic port attracts enemy
aircraft attention. The build up of American men
and equipment in preparation for the D Day landings,
provide the youngsters with a unique opportunity
to see, and share history in the making.
In A Child’s War in Cornwall the author describes
the rural idyll that was Cornwall in the 1940s
against the background of World War Two. His
fond memories of those times provide a
fascinating glimpse of times past and heartwarming
reminiscences of a most fortunate
John C.Harding philosophy is ‘a man
with many hobbies has many friends’.
John has many friends. His hobbies
include marine painting, astral
navigation, collecting scientific
instruments, photography and wildlife
John’s interests are UFOs, naval history,
steam engines, aviation history and
Imprint: Ryelands. ISBN 978 1 906551 24 7, hardback, 297x210mm, 128 pages. Published June 2010.