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Remembered Today:

The children who fought Hitler


Le_Treport
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Just finished this book, and thoroughly recommend it.

The title is slightly inaccurate I feel as I will explain, but it's a great read.

The book recounts the establishment, daily life and end of the British community in Ypres from 1918 to 1945. It revolves around the British school there, and throughout, it draws on the recollections of various people and their families. So it follows the lives of some people more than others, though some names pop in to the story, then disappear then reappear later on. It weaves their narratives in with historical information too.

Each chapter deals with a different aspect - from Ypres in 1918, the setting up of the IWGC, the development of the community, the establishment of the school, daily life in the school etc through to the start of WW2 and what happened then. So technically the book isn't just WW1 related, but as it revolves around Ypres and the people who were there after WW1 it does sit with this forum's interests.

The chapters for WW2 cover the stories of the people who flee to England, those who remain and those taken into captivity. It then focuses on two of the Ypres community to work in the French resistance and the SOE.

Finally, the book details the post-WW2 story.

I learned several things from the book, and I found that it gave a different perspective on WW2 events (e.g the desperate race to the Channel ports after the invasion of Belgium) which aren't often aired. it's very well written - in that it is easy to read and I couldn't put it down.

Having borrowed a library copy, I plan to buy my own now for my personal library!

The title? Oh yes, 'The children who fought Hitler' suggested to me that it would only deal with active participation in fighting the Nazis, but I found that the book covered so many other aspects to the development of the Ypres community as well as just the combat operations.

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There was a programme recently on the subject over here on 2be, a subject that I'm quite interested in; I know a lot of the cwgc gardeners who are descended from the 1st tommies

Soren

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There is another thread about this book in which it mentions that there is to be a documentary here (UK) in November. So perhaps it's the same documentary.

(I started this thread as a formal review of the book).

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There is another thread about this book in which it mentions that there is to be a documentary here (UK) in November. So perhaps it's the same documentary.

(I started this thread as a formal review of the book).

Yes, the documentary of the same name has been shown already in Belgium and will be aired in the UK on Remembrance Sunday (8th Nov) at 9pm on BBC4 - the Freeview channel - but there may well be a repeat on BBC2 at some point. I am biased, but it's a great film. And in answer to Le Treport's (thank you for the nice review!) observation about the title - the idea for the film came before the book, so we had to use the same title, though the scope of the book is much wider. It's not the title I would have chosen - but that's modern publishing for you!

Sue Elliott

Co-author, 'The Children Who Fought Hitler'

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I was privileged to be invited to Sue Elliott's launch of her book 'The Children who fought Hitler'. It was an extraordinary and very enjoyable occasion.

Many of the 'children' who are the subject of the book had travelled from far and wide to join in and the event became very much a 'parallel school reunion'. More tales were being bandied about so perhaps Sue will have to write a sequel!

Having now had the chance to read the book myself and having got it from Amazon (remember to do so via, and thereby generate funds, for the forum!). My views echo Le Treport's and can be found at Amazon on http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1848540...=cm_cr_thx_view

A big thank you to Sue for writing such an interesting and pertinent book - I look forward to the film on TV mentioned above!

Alan

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That's a tabloid title if I ever saw one.

Just finished this book, and thoroughly recommend it.

The title is slightly inaccurate I feel as I will explain, but it's a great read.

The book recounts the establishment, daily life and end of the British community in Ypres from 1918 to 1945. It revolves around the British school there, and throughout, it draws on the recollections of various people and their families. So it follows the lives of some people more than others, though some names pop in to the story, then disappear then reappear later on. It weaves their narratives in with historical information too.

Each chapter deals with a different aspect - from Ypres in 1918, the setting up of the IWGC, the development of the community, the establishment of the school, daily life in the school etc through to the start of WW2 and what happened then. So technically the book isn't just WW1 related, but as it revolves around Ypres and the people who were there after WW1 it does sit with this forum's interests.

The chapters for WW2 cover the stories of the people who flee to England, those who remain and those taken into captivity. It then focuses on two of the Ypres community to work in the French resistance and the SOE.

Finally, the book details the post-WW2 story.

I learned several things from the book, and I found that it gave a different perspective on WW2 events (e.g the desperate race to the Channel ports after the invasion of Belgium) which aren't often aired. it's very well written - in that it is easy to read and I couldn't put it down.

Having borrowed a library copy, I plan to buy my own now for my personal library!

The title? Oh yes, 'The children who fought Hitler' suggested to me that it would only deal with active participation in fighting the Nazis, but I found that the book covered so many other aspects to the development of the Ypres community as well as just the combat operations.

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I listened to Woman's Hour this morning, and Jane Garvey conducted a splendidly informative interview with Sue Elliott and the wonderful Lilian Betts. It was a fascinating piece and can be accessed via the BBC i-player. The relevant timing is 20:42--36:55.

Phil Elliott.

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  • 4 months later...

Borrowed it from library & finished it in early hours of this morning.

A most excellent book & recommended highly.

Notice I've mentioned it in another two threads already.

:-)

I'm now trying to find out more about the fighting in Gorre British & Indian Cemetery in May 1940 which caused some damage & also where one lad cached arms in Pont-d'achelles Military Cemetery.

The title really isn't what the book is about to be honest.

I found the chapters on Interment interesting as it's almost a forgotten subject.

If you like visiting CWGC Cemeteries & visiting Ieper, read this book it will give you a new view of the place.

Next time I'm at the Menin Gate I'll be thinking of the kilted Scotsmen asking the Nazi-saluting Germans to leave.

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