Orkney In Wartime 'The People's Story' Vol. 2
The second of a two-volume work outlining the impact of war on everyday life in Orkney.
By Emile Flett.
Volume II of ‘Orkney in Wartime’ continues the story of the impact of the Second World War on life in Orkney. Rationing was an abiding memory for those who lived through the war but the experience amongst the farming communities of Orkney was very different from those living in the large urban areas of Britain. The large numbers of military coming into Orkney sparked a demand for farm produce resulting in an agricultural boom and farming moving, in the space of a few years, from horses to tractor.
School life was not immune from the effects of war. Gas mask drills became a common feature in Orkney’s schools as were interruptions due to air raid alarms. The influence of the Church was challenged as its leaders struggled against the social impact of ‘the friendly invasion.’ Health services and housing provision came under severe strain and at the war’s end military huts provided ‘temporary’ solutions to Orkney’s housing shortage in the post-war years.
Work came to Orkney in abundance, and pay beyond anything on offer in pre-war years, was on offer at the construction companies building the army camps, aerodromes and the myriad of smaller military installations dotted throughout Orkney.
1945 was a momentous year. Germany surrendered in May and the war, which had consumed six years of people’s lives, finally ended in late 1945 after nuclear bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Many Orcadian families had to come to terms with the loss of young men who never returned. Those who did come home from the Forces and the prison camps faced the future in an Orkney that was dramatically changed, and yet -- in many ways -- remained unchanged.
We also stock Volume I.
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