Saturday 21 February 2009

Book ~ "War Brides" (2009) Melynda Jarratt

From Goodreads ~ For thousands of young British girls, the influx of Canadian soldiers conscripted to Britain during the Second World War meant throngs of handsome young men. The result was over 48,000 marriages to Canadian soldiers alone, and a mass emigration of British women to North America and around the world in the 1940s. 

For many brides, the decision to leave their family and home to move to a country thousands of miles away with a man they hardly knew brought forth ensuing happiness. For others, the outcome was much different, and the darker side of the story reveals the infidelity, domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism and divorce that many lived through. 

"War Brides" draws on original archival documents, personal correspondence, and key first hand accounts to tell the amazing story of the War Brides in their own words-and shows the love, passion, tragedy and spirit of adventure of thousand of British women.

Can you imagine quitting school at age 14 because you have to help support your family during World War II in London? A couple years later you meet a Canadian soldier at a dance or in a park and you get married (after much paperwork and permissions) within a week, a couple months or a year. You leave your parents and siblings (not knowing if you'll ever see them again) and follow your husband months later by ship (perhaps with a baby) to rural Canada where they may only speak French (you don't). You are used to having running water and electricity and live for the next 20+ years hauling water from the river and using an outhouse. Yet your 60+ year marriage is a happy one and you have no regrets and consider Canada home.

Hard to imagine!

This book is an interesting collection of more than 50 stories of Canada's war brides, set up geographically by province, along with pictures of most of the brides. Some of the stories are told by the brides themselves, others by children or grandchildren.

Definitely a book I'd recommend!

If you want to learn more about Canadian War Brides, you can go to the extensive website.

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