Love Letters from the Second World War
Extracts from the largest known surviving collection of love letters from the Second World War
Dear Joan comprises a unique series of letters between a young airman, Tony Ross, and Joan Charles, a girl whom he met briefly in England before he was posted to the Mediterranean during the Second World War. Through these letters, the book traces the development of their relationship from friendship to long-lasting love.
With the enthusiasm of youth, Tony and Joan share their dreams of an ideal life in a reconstructed, post-Second World War Britain. Joan's letters reveal the problems of daily life in wartime Britain and give an insight into her voluntary work for the Fire Guard, the land army and the Red Cross, and the bureaucracy she encounters in her job with the Civil Service. Meanwhile, Tony describes the challenges of life in the desert, his increasing responsibilities in the RAF and his experiences in the numerous countries he visits throughout the Middle East.
Dear Joan is a touching account of how Tony's and Joan's love began with a chance wartime encounter and quickly blossomed through letters exchanged throughout the Second World War, across the miles that separated them.
Dame Vera Lynn
“A gorgeous book”
“Wonderful . . . a tribute to the strength of love”
“A story of true love against the backdrop of war and separation”
“A life-affirming book”
Peter Hart, Imperial War Museum
“Intensely romantic . . . a remarkable courtship by mail which survived the most testing of separations during the most difficult of times”
Mail on Sunday
“[Gives] a flavour of a time when danger and separation made romance especially poignant . . . an uplifting and relevant story”
“Personal and poignant”
Manchester Evening News
“Personal stories, especially those as compelling as Tony's and Joan's, are hugely important in putting a "human" face on the war”
Sir Peter Squire, Chairman of Trustees, Imperial War Museum