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A Wartime Romance - overview

The story of a wartime romance between a Brentford girl, Joan Beardsworth, and her Welsh fiance Ray Llewellyn, who married in 1944 after a whirlwind courtship, and their experience of life in post-war Brentford, has been published as an e-book entitled A Wartime Romance and is available to download from the Amazon website on to Kindle devices or on to the Kindle App.

A journey of romance, reunion and a transformed reality in the aftermath of conflict, this was the actuality of hundreds of couples' experience in the 1940s. Ray and Joan married six months before Ray, serving in the RAF, was posted to India. Recently discovered letters sent by Ray to his new bride, Joan, in Brentford, bring into focus the post-war struggles of demobilised service personnel who returned home to find housing shortages, food rationing, a scarcity of jobs and, in some cases, broken relationships. Post-war domestic problems, particularly those of newly married couples, have sometimes been overlooked in the literature surrounding World War Two. Interviews with children of the post-war era provide additional insight into the period which, since now on the borders of living memory, are especially important to record.

So what was the reality of post-war Britain? In many cases disappointment, demoralisation, defeat and despair. But hope sprang eternal: their anticipation of future prosperity drove this generation forward into the fifties and beyond as many of us born in the post-war era can testify.

Also see a photo of Joan's mother, Emily Alice Beardsworth, on the Great West Road in 1924.


Page published February 2014; updated January 2019