Leicester in WW2


In writing the book I specifically wanted to give a voice to the people who lived through those times, but whose personal stories are rarely heard in the official records. I also wanted to touch upon some of the themes not generally covered or glossed over in other histories, notable amongst which were the crime wave which swept the city during the war and the race disturbances that occurred in 1943-44. Balanced against these are other largely untold stories, such as the gallantry and sacrifices of the men, women and children of the city, the requisitioned factories and offices which from 1939 onwards became home to the Army’s largest ever pay office, and the contribution made by Leicester’s industry to the war effort. Finally, I also wanted to take a little time to explore what happened after the celebrations had ended and the bunting had been put away. 

With 262 pages and 51 illustrations, But For These Things contains the following chapters: 

May God Help us all - Leicester and its people prepare for war

Never Volunteer! - the experiences of Leicester's men and women called up for military service

Thieves' Paradise - policing and crime in the wartime city

That Place of Fish and Chips - Leicester and the air war

Escape from the Daily Round - entertainment during the difficult years of the war 

Let Us Look to the Future - the experiences of Leicester's wartime school children

Victory at the Bench - the contribution of the city's industry to the war effort

There'll Always be an Inkland - the Royal Army Pay Corps, RAOC and REME in Leicester

All American All the Way - the arrival of Americans in and around the city

To Neptune and Beyond - experiences of the 82nd Airborne in Leicester

It's All Over! - the end of the war and immediate post-war years


To purchase a signed copy at a special price of £7.00 (post free in the UK) email me at vince.holyoak@talktalk.net or write enclosing a cheque (cheques should be made payable to V.Holyoak) to: But For These Things, 1 The Leys, Countesthorpe, Leicester. LE8 5PJ.