A new book about wartime life in Exmouth is due to be published in the autumn of 2010. Its author Arthur Cook has interviewed dozens of people from the town and the surrounding area for the book, Exmouth at War, which is set to be published by Halsgrove Books.
“I have interviewed 100 people from the Exmouth and East Devon area who were living in the town during the war,” he said. “It has given me a really good picture of what life was like in Devon’s largest town.
“I have also found old issues of the Exmouth Journal, Exmouth Chronicle and Express & Echo, which have helped to piece together the puzzle of some of the bombing raids in Exmouth.
“Exmouth Museum has been very helpful with my research — which has taken nearly four years — as has Exmouth Library, the West-Country Studies Library and Honiton Museum. It has been a fantastic experience for me to meet and talk to the people of Exmouth who have shared their experiences.”
Mr. Cook’s work covers topics such as Women’s roles, children and evacuees, the bombings, the Home Guard, the Air Raid Precautions, the Police the Fire Services, rationing, fashion, daily life and American soldiers prior to D-Day.
This is Mr. Cook’s first publishing contract and because of the size of the project, it is expected to be released as two books. He hopes the first will be useful for Key Stage 2 school pupils. The second is expected to be released in May 2011. It will be called The Home Guard.
Other books are also expected to be released in the future.
Mr. Cook, who runs the 1940’s music and living history business Blitz and Peaces with wife Lesley, is still keen for people to come forward with stories, photographs or Second World War documents.
He said: “I am looking for more information on Exmouth Police during the war, the Women’s Land Army in East Devon, the beach and seafront and it’s defences during the war and for any photographs from the period. Official photographs taken by organisations, or just snapshots that people may have taken photos of themselves or friends.”
Arthur Cook can be contacted on 07773-160-739
Photo of Arthur Cook by J.S. Dyer Photography.
Exmouth at War – Walks and Talks can be booked at e-mail above or Telephone:07580-536-939.