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Stan and Chris in the War: As Described in Their Letters

By Edited by Jeremy Pickard

When Christobel Pickard died, aged 96, her family read, for the first time, the 1200 letters that she had exchanged with Stanley during the Second World War.

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These letters describe their relationship from childhood sweethearts and young lovers to struggling parents – all against the backdrop of war. They tell of Stan’s service on Motor Torpedo Boats in Lowestoft and in the ruins of occupied Germany. Chris describes her life in the Eastbourne area with her sisters, its temptations, shortages and air raids.

The letters give an intensely personal account of their relationship, its high points and the lows. Through their voices we glimpse the social themes of their time: gender roles; sexuality and respectability; class and status; duty and personal freedom; childcare and health.

This book bears eloquent testimony to a generation’s capacity to withstand the privations of war and still hope for the future. 

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