‘It’s now seventy years since the end of the Second World War, and those who lived through those momentous years are getting fewer in number each year,’ says Porthcawl author Malcolm Cowper, ‘so I decided to try to capture their memories before it was too late.’
He interviewed some forty people in the former Glamorgan county, and talked to men who served in the front line, women who laboured in the factories producing vital weapons of war, and children with memories of evacuation, gas masks, and nights spent in air raid shelters.
The recollections of a man who survived the horrors of a Japanese prison camp, of women who did the dangerous work of manufacturing bombs at the Bridgend Arsenal, of a young boy in the Swansea blitz, wearing only his underpants and carrying his younger brother on his back, running for shelter as bombs rained down, and of a woman whose grandmother was buried under tons of rubble when the last V2 rocket of the war landed on her London apartment block: these are just some of the amazing stories in this collection.
‘Talking to the war veterans was fascinating,’ says Malcolm, ‘and I came to realise what an extraordinary generation they were, and how much we owe them for their fortitude and resilience in the face of one of the most barbaric and ruthless enemies this country has ever had to face. God knows how awful our lives would be today if we had lost that war.’ Glamorgan’s Greatest Generation is a collection of stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times, capturing the comradeship, humour and sense of duty that carried them through fear, loss and sacrifice.