Blitz Boy by Robert Trevor

Blitz Boy – My London Childhood in World War II

Childhood World War II
ISBN 1-84683-099-0
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by Robert Trevor
A  Londoner's experiences  as a child during the Blitz and as an evacuee in rural Berkshire and  suburban Liverpool during World War Two.

Written with the panache you would expect from a an experienced journalist and broadcaster, this evocative memoir relives the author's experiences as a child growing up in London during the Blitz years and as an unhappy evacuee to rural England, painting a vivid picture of childhood in the UK during the Second World War.

A valuable historical account as well as being entertaining and educational  for readers of all ages, particularly today's schoolchildren being taught about their World War II counterparts.

In this engaging autobiographical account, veteran journalist and broadcaster Bob Trevor recalls his childhood experiences in war-torn London during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz and as an evacuee, first in rural Southern England and later in Liverpool.

The result is as powerful an evocation of civilian life in wartime Britain as you are ever likely to read. A compelling and at times deeply moving portrayal of family life, childhood, friendship and collective fortitude in the face of adversity.

Just five years old when war is declared in 1939, Bob and his gang of childhood friends are soon watching in awe as the dogfights of Battle of Britain take place in the skies above their local streets in suburban Thornton Heath, although their initial excitement gives way to trepidation as the nightly bombing raids of the Blitz begin.

With London under siege, Bob, his mother and baby sister are evacuated to Pangbourne in rural Berkshire, where for the next two years they will share a single room in a dilapidated old Rectory, struggling to survive on their meagre wartime rations.

To add to his hardships, Bob is sent to the local village school, where he and a few fellow evacuees face relentless bullying by local children who resent intruders on their turf. The daily playground battles of this plucky band of uprooted city kids mirrors the hostilities taking place in the wider world, where Allied forces face a similarly intractable enemy.

Just as all seems lost, a unit of the Royal Canadian Engineers is stationed nearby and Bob is befriended by a trio of native Canadian soldiers. Far from home and victims of prejudice themselves, these ‘Red Indian’ servicemen empathise with the displaced city kids and tutor them in the art of self-defence.

It is a valuable education that will help our young hero overcome the challenges that lie in store for him in Liverpool and back home in London before VE Day finally heralds a longed-for return to normal life.

Bob Trevor in 2010Robert Trevor was born in Camden Town, north London, in 1934, educated at Highgate School and spent his National Service overseas in the RAF.

During this time, aged 19, he married his teenage girlfriend Elizabeth Jones and they were together for more than 54 years. He has three children and ten grandchildren, all of whom live in London.

On demobilisation in 1955 he joined the North London Press as a trainee reporter and graduated to The Times three years later. He then joined the London Evening News as a sports correspondent. He covered the Olympic Games in Rome, Tokyo and Mexico and six Commonwealth Games.

After sixteen years in Fleet Street he joined the BBC as a radio reporter, initially covering industrial news. Moving to the World Service he took control of sports news before moving back into news as Eastern Mediterranean correspondent based in Ankara. During his career he covered assignments in more than 60 countries.

In 1992 he was elected President of the National Union of Journalists and on retiring from the BBC took up an appointment with the Employment Tribunal Service which lasted ten years.

details softback | 300 pages text plus b/w photos
keywords world war two | evacuee | pangbourne | liverpool | london blitz
readership all age groups