From the bestselling authors of The Sugar Girls and GI Brides, this is Kathleen’s story, one of three true accounts from the book The Girls Who Went to War.
“Boxing Day was cold and frosty, and by the time Kathleen and the lads arrived at the football pitch she was already shivering. As they stood watching the game, Arnold silently took her hand and put it inside the pocket of his greatcoat. It was a small gesture, but it told her that she belonged to him now, and to Kathleen nothing had ever seemed so romantic.”
In the summer of 1940, Britain stood alone against Germany. The British Army stood at just over one and a half million men, while the Germans had three times that many, and a population almost twice the size of ours from which to draw new waves of soldiers. Clearly, in the fight against Hitler, manpower alone wasn’t going to be enough.
Nanny Kathleen Skin signed up for the WRNS, leaving her quiet home for the rigours of training, the camaraderie of the young women who worked together so closely and to face a war that would change her life forever.
Overall, more than half a million women served in the armed forces during the Second World War. This book tells the story of just one of them. But in her story is reflected the lives of hundreds of thousands of others like them – ordinary girls who went to war, wearing their uniforms with pride.
About the author
Duncan Barrett grew up in London and studied English at Jesus College, Cambridge. In 2010 he edited the First World War memoirs of pacifist saboteur Ronald Skirth, published as The Reluctant Tommy, and in 2014 his book Men of Letters: The Post Office Heroes Who Fought the Great War was nominated for the People’s Book Prize.
Nuala Calvi also grew up in London, and trained as a journalist at London College of Printing. She has written for The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, the BBC and CNN, as well as numerous Time Out guides.
In 2012, Duncan and Nuala’s book The Sugar Girls shot into the Sunday Times top-ten, spending eight weeks in the chart and finishing as the second highest history bestseller of the year. It was followed in 2013 by GI Brides, which was both a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. Both books are currently in development for television.