AMBRIDGE, Tom and AMBRIDGE, Margaret, editors.
The Casualties were Small: wartime poetry and diaries of a Lincolnshire seaside villager, Chapel St Leonards, near Skegness, 1940-1944: May Hill. Ambridge Books, 2009. iv. 113pp. No ISBN. £8.99 pbk.
The mixture of diary entries interspersed with poems written during the wartime period covered in the title gives a valuable flavour of how the trauma of war affected those left behind. In these days of e-mails and other instant forms of communication it is through books like this that we realise how much worry those at home suffered from just not knowing about the whereabouts and welfare of their serving men folk. The waiting for a possible fateful telegram was a constant.
Skilfully put together (though a cast list might have been useful – there are 20 Hills in the index!), well produced and illustrated, this forms a local insight into wartime lives in the county.