Monday, November 26, 2012

A new book from Builth

Perhaps like the black American soldiers from the Pencerrig camp this blog should stick to its own side of the Wye bridge,* but here we have a book (or maybe booklet - it only has 96 pages) full of interesting snippets about life in Builth during the Second World War.

Of course a locally produced book like this - it's published by the Builth Wells and District Heritage Society - isn't going to delve too deeply into the more controversial aspects of wartime life: profiteering, the black market, sexual shenanigans, the Epynt clearances etc.  What we do get are individual memories of varying quality and interest, the first chapter is particularly fine while one or two others would have benefited from a little discreet editing.

Some thoughts: the young Builth nurse who was badly wounded in the Coventry blitz and subsequently died.  More than 60000 civilians were killed during the war on the Home Front, shouldn't their names also be recorded on our war memorials?  The Bootle mothers who returned home after a few weeks because "they would prefer to face the bombs ,,,,, than stay in Builth."  One would like to know more.  The young Home Guarder much mocked for running off when confronted by a German parachutist, surely the sensible course of action?

All in all a volume that should fascinate younger readers and stir memories for the older  generation.

* It seems that the bridge was guarded to ensure that locally stationed white American troops stayed in Builth, while their black compatriots could go no further south than the Llanelwedd Arms. 


Llew Buallt said...

He's evaded the sentries again, darn it!

Anonymous said...

"Permission to speak, sir!"

radnor redivivus said...

Llew - welcome back.

Anon - I think you're confusing me with Lord Justice Leveson.