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A bit about me and my blog

I should first of all make it clear that I am British and live in a rural part of Shropshire in England. Readers should bear that in mind when reading my posts, especially since some British place names have been adopted by other parts of the world. [In one of my posts, I refer to Birmingham – ie Birmingham in the West Midlands, UK, not Birmingham Alabama or Birmingham Michigan in the United States]

I am in the process of writing a non-fiction book based around a collection of letters written during WW2, and through my blog I share some of my journey where I follow the development of the writer’s relationship with the recipient of the letters, with the trials and tribulations of civilian and military life during the long period of war between Britain and her Allies, and the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan.

In July 1943, in the middle of WW2, a British soldier, Ron, serving as a clerk with REME* was on leave in Torquay, Devon. A young woman, Betty, from Worcestershire was on holiday with her best friend. He fell in love with her but although she was attracted to him she was not short of admirers. Her holiday ended and she returned home, leaving him with a desire to further their relationship. At the end of his leave he wrote the first of 200 letters to her.

Their story does not exist in isolation from others – it has to be set in the context of their separate family lives and histories, of their friendships, their social and working lives, and against a backdrop of war in Europe and on the Home Front, much of which he alludes to in his letters. I will be sharing some of my background research into each of these aspects in my blog.

Why have I added the phrase ‘Boil for 3hrs’ and the sentence ‘So that’s how I got my name’ you might ask. The first is extracted directly from one of the letters, and describes how the soldier washed his clothes with limited facilities while on Active Service, and the second does explain how my name was chosen – but that will only be revealed much later in my book. It might even give others of my generation an insight into how they were given their own names!

*REME Royal & Electrical Mechanical Engineers