Posted in Wartime

Letters Home From Abroad

Richard Knott

* Highlights the human cost of being posted abroad in wartime: exile and its impact; the censorship of correspondence; the difference between ‘good' and ‘bad' wars; separation and communication

* Juxtaposes the wartime lives and experiences of ‘ordinary' people with those of the more celebrated

* Reveals a picture of wartime life from the exten
Date Published :
April 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
35 illustrations
No associated books available.


The Second World War saw many people consigned to long periods of exile, far from home. How did the exiled keep in touch with home? Why were some exiles silent when others wrote frequently and at length? Posted in Wartime explores the nature of such exile and considers what could be written in diaries and letters, given that letters were censored and diaries were, at best, frowned upon. At the book’s heart are the stories of three very different exiles: a Liberty Ship captain; a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps; and an airman in Iraq and Palestine. Set alongside those are the experiences of a number of celebrated wartime exiles whose diaries and letters are both extensive and detailed, and whose stories loosely connect with the journeys of the three main protagonists; they include the travel writer Freya Stark, the photographer Cecil Beaton, and the playwright Noël Coward.

* Exhibition of Cecil Beaton photography (of the Duchess of Devonshire and her set) at Chatsworth, March 2016 to January 2017

.* The reopening of the British Postal Museum & Archive as The Postal Museum in London in 2017

* 100th anniversary of the Imperial War Museum, London, 2017

*75 years since the release of Noel Coward’s film about the Navy at war, In Which We Serve (1942)

* 75 years (on 15 April) since the author’s father sailed to the Middle East in Winston Special convoy WS18

* 100 years (in November 2017) since the Balfour Declaration (Middle East)

* 70 years since Indian independence.

About The Author

Richard Knott has a degree in History from the University of London. He has worked as an actor (with the Royal Shakespeare Company), teacher and management consultant. His previous books include: Black Night for Bomber Command (Pen & Sword, 2007 and 2014); Flying Boats of the Empire (Robert Hale, 2011); The Sketchbook War (The History Press, 2013 and 2014); and The Trio (The History Press, 2015). Previously he has written two books on the teaching of English, a poetry anthology (Wordlife, Nelson, 1988), and a book of cricket quotations (Cricket: Wit, Wickets and Wisdom, Running Press, 1996).


"This is an evocative study in separation, homesickness and nostalgia."

- Historical Novels Review

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