These Memoirs are intended to be primarily a compilation of local history that can be updated as needed and searched for topics for decades to come. On-line sources are used where available. A large personal collection of relevant books has been collected that provides a research-use resource for finding information not available on-line.
The primary research outlet will be an e-book publication to suit that need. As completed print copies are available on-line as 'Print on Demand', and from selected local District sales outlets. Selected West Sussex County libraries will have reference copies.
The various memoirs materials are being prepared in chronological order. The sequence, of 4 books, will each contain around 100,000 words and 180 illustrations.
The periods are:
Book 1 Pre-war (Pre 1940)
Book 2 Lowest Times (1940-1942)
Book 3 Fight Back (1943-mid 1944)
Book 4 Peace Returns (mid 1944-1950)
A companion picture booklet Midhurst WW2 Memoirs: An Evacuee's Story succinctly tells the story-line of Peter Sydenham's time in the District.
Release Date. April 2018
See the News Flash for April
Rear Cover Page:
A region of picturesque and sylvan beauty that I have never seen equalled.’ - Benjamin Disraeli. 1870.
By British town standards, Midhurst in West Sussex, was always a sleepy place, becoming that way due to its enviable geographical position in award winning rural countryside. WW2 filled it with troops and evacuees.
In readiness for the war time memoirs to come, this first book, of a series on Midhurst during WW2, tells of interesting happenings as it delves into the back stories of the area’s history. Extensive research and scholarly professionalism by Peter Sydenham integrates a surprising amount of ‘all but lost’ material, showing its place in helping win that war and how ‘it is a place to be’. You will enjoy learning about the Midhurst District and its WW2 endurance.
Improvements to Book 1
To give immediacy for researchers, improvements are progressively stored in the project file <Improvements Book 1 Midhurst WW2 Memoirs.docx.>
Get this file using the 'contact us' tab or use direct email to Peter Sydenham on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book 2: Evil rising. Good awakening
Final Titles at 4 March 2019
1 Storm Clouds are Forming
2 Nazi Germany; the first arch enemy of Britain
3 Others of the Evil Camp
4 The Good's Respond
5 The Allies
6 War approaches
7 Persons without essentials
8 Money makes the world go round
9 Glimpses of a then possible future
10 Midhurst Life with war imminent
11 Where the 'other half' lived in the District
12 Entertainment and Sport
13 Some Local Memories
14 War Begins in Britain
Release Date. Summer 2019?
Rear Cover Page:
Understanding the Midhurst District in WW2 needs appreciation of how WW2 formed over the 1930s. Hitler’s rise to absolute power by 1933 started his insane plan to build a 1000yr Third German Reich by heinous means, including educating German boys to become dispensable soldiers, and the nation’s girls to be mothers of his master race.
Book 2 explores how Hitler brought about WW2 through dishonest political manoeuvring, and military force not seen before. Why did Britain hold back its condemnation and retaliation? Who were the Good and the Evil combatants as the world was dragged back into all-out war?
Peter Sydenham is, here, digging deep to explain the impact of war on life in the Midhurst District. Fascism was operating just a few miles away. Goering and Ribbentrop are said to have come to town! Who were the local infamous Nazis; and forgotten local heroes.
War is imminent at the start of 1939. Preparations are underway that take away full freedom in the District. Young men are called up. Rationing is introduced. Permission is needed to use a motor vehicle. Houses must be blacked out. Pilots are training to repel the German Air Force. Evacuees and troops fill every place of accommodation. Life is undergoing a major trauma.
Construction and selection of the content of these are well under way. Anyone interested if gaining knowledge of the topics and likely layouts should make contact below.
Watch this space for bouquets and brickbats. Some good comment is coming in but it is too early yet to be sure the print version will be well received.
The cover design is getting all round praise! That is a good start
This project is being undertaken for the people of the District. It is intended to become a living digital history record that is constantly updated and extended over the decades ahead.
The plan for 10 books has been reviewed in the light of Book 1 experience. Only 4 are needed.
It is being done on a fully voluntary basis. Sales of print and e-books aim to recover costs of making them available.
As the project gets underway it could become a community project. It does not need to be rewritten, as in the past, but simply topped up.
An invitation is extended to folks to take part in any of the many roles. That will speed it up.
Much of this work can be done from home; at any location with access to the Internet.