Author(s): Julie Summers
Over 4 million ex-service men were demobilised between 1945 and 1947. These men, changed by injury or experience, returned to a Britain that had also adjusted in their absence. In A Stranger In The House, Julie Summers talks to the women who were left to cope at home without their menfolk and explains how the longed-for homecomings were sometimes difficult for all concerned. With the majority of young men away fighting, wives, daughters and mothers maintained the home front by going out to work, running the household, looking after the family and becoming the main breadwinner. Of course most of these women looked forward for the safe return of their men, but often did not realise that they themselves had been changed by their own time coping alone. When the war was over there were many wives who had to deal with an injured, emotionally-damaged husband, children who had never seen their father before, mothers whose sons did not want to speak about their horrific experiences and those who thought their fiances were dead only to find them reappearing after they had married another. Julie Summers has spent hours speaking to the women involved and listening to their often sad, sometimes joyous, stories.