The miraculous story of the Walkers, six siblings who survived Blitz, battle and internment and whose incredible experiences tell a new social history of WW2, told by historian and Walker descendant Annabel Venning
'We were one of those lucky families. Six of us and we all survived the war. And yet one knew of other families who lost all of their children.' Ruth Walker
This is the story of the Walkers, six siblings (including the author's grandfather) who survived Blitz, battle and internment and lived to tell the tale. This ordinary family's extraordinary experiences combine to tell a new social history of World War Two.
Harold was a doctor who spent a week in a coma after being bombed whilst conducting an operation in St Thomas's hospital. Glamorous Beatrice married an American airman, and was widowed just weeks before the end of the war. Peter suffered terrible torture as a Japanese POW. Edward fought with the 1/8 Punjab regiment in India. Ruth performed pioneering skin grafts as a nurse for soldiers returning from Dunkirk. And Walter fought with the 8th Gurkhas against the Japanese in Burma.
Together, the stories of these ordinary yet extraordinary siblings tell the story of WW2 from the home front to Italy, Burma and Malaya, North Africa and more.
An extraordinary, compelling picture of a family entwined in the Second World War. Weaving the lives of brothers, sisters, wives, husbands and lovers seamlessly and with vivid clarity, its scope is epic, the sweep majestic, the story at turns funny, sad, redemptive and tragic. Fabulous.
Annabel Venning was born in Hong Kong in 1973 and, as an army daughter, lived in eighteen houses in as many years, in Asia, Germany and Britain. Having studied History and Politics at Durham University she went on to become a journalist writing for the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. She lives in Wiltshire, and is married to the author Guy Walters.