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A 94-year old historian recalls life and love in London during the second world war. This book takes the reader on a journey from the magical west coast of Ireland to the harsh realities of the London Blitz. In an gripping and intensely personal chronology of each year of the conflict, a story unfolds of enduring resolve and survival in the face of violence unlike anything the world had every seen. Sample from the book: It was a glorious morning in London. The only signs of imminent war were the fat silver barrage balloons floating in the cloudless sky. The streets were deserted. Everyone was at home waiting for the dreaded news. A declaration of war was inevitable now. Summer had come early in 1939. The good weather at Easter lasted well into June. The Spanish Civil War had ended in victory for Franco. King Zog and Queen Geraldine, with their three-day old baby, had been thrown out of Albania. Europe was changing, but there was a whole new world to be explored now that schooldays were over. War would put an end to all our hopes and plans, so we chose to ignore the warning signs. There had been a temporary break in the good weather, but by the middle of August the sun shone again and I decided to take my holiday in Ireland. In Rosbeg we woke up every morning to cloudless skies and blue seas; and Clew Bay with its hundreds of islands looked heavenly. It was no trouble to ignore the uneasiness on the continent, where there were rumours of Hitler's intention to take over the Polish port of Danzig to give Germany a corridor to the North Sea. On one of my last days at home, we drove to Achill Island. We stood on the cliff above Keem Bay dazzled in the turquoise sea rolling up the beach below. That magic day was to become a treasured memory that would often cheer me in the dark days to come, because by then there was little doubt that we were to be faced with a major conflict. German troops, who had already invaded Austria and Czechoslovakia, had crossed the Polish border on the 1st September. The Poles were putting up a valiant fight against numerically superior forces, but already there was every sign that the struggle would be in vain and could not be ignored by the western powers. On the 2nd September, my lifelong friend Nan and I returned to London. The small country stations were deserted and eerily silent as the train rattled on its way to Dublin. It seemed the whole world was holding its breath. We took a taxi from the Broadstone Station in Dublin to Dun Laoghaire and there the scene was totally different. Hundreds of men with kitbags were converging on the mail boat. There wasn't a woman in sight. There was a lot of excitement and men calling out to each other as though they hadn't met for a long time. Two of the men joined us. "Give us your bag, love," one of them said to me. "What are you doing here at a time like this? You should be at home, or are you going home?" "No, I'm at college in London." "Well, you'd be better off in Ireland. There's going to be a war, you know. All this lot are Irish Guard Reserves. We've been called up and we're expecting to be sent to Danzig on Monday. They can't let Poland down the way they sold out Czechoslovakia."