6 November 2009

Peace, War and Love

Peace, War and Love by John Smale is the story of two people who came together and married just after WW2 started.

Jack and Sophie had different childhoods in the years between the Wars. Jack grew up on a Dorset farm as the youngest of seven children. Sophie, as the eldest of seven sisters found herself increasingly having to look after her growing number of siblings.

The couple met and then moved apart. There were lots of `near misses' during the War, but they both, luckily, survived. Jack was a soldier who was stationed in London during the Blitz and was later torpedoed on his way to Algiers with the REME. The book includes an account of the last few hours of the Windsor Castle and how the troops were rescued. There are descriptions of his advance through North Africa and his posting in Italy.

Meanwhile Sophie was stationed at RAF Manstone and only escaped death because she, and a friend, had a bad feeling about going into an air-raid shelter one night. She became pregnant by Jack, now her husband, on their last night together before he was posted the ill fated Windsor Castle.

So, fate appeared to be ganging up on them but it was actually conspiring to keep them together. After the War, they remained a happily married couple until Jack died earlier this year (2009). Sophie is still alive and lives in the village where they met.

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