“While The Bombs Fell” – Wednesday’s Bookmobile Experiences “Life In Wartime”! Bravo Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton!

Growing Up “While The Bombs Fell”

This Wednesday’s Bookmobile is going back to a time and place when children would routinely have to seek shelter in the London Underground because of bombing over the city!

Imagine living during wartime, in this case World War II in a town outside London – an experience that has been vividly brought to life by a terrific Blogger, Robbie Cheadle and her Mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton – who lived through it!

“While The Bombs Fell” is a great story, told from the point of view of a young girl who lived through it, recounted with the help of her daughter…such as the issue of government gas masks:

“She felt relieved that she didn’t have to worry about her gas mask anymore. The family’s gas masks lay forgotten in their boxes. The British Government’s anxieties about chemical warfare had not materialized.

When fitted to her face, the rubber mask felt hot and smelled bad. When she breathed in, she had to suck air through a filter designed to remove any poisonous gas.”

I think as a culture we have forgotten just how horrible the impact of war is: they currently happen too far away from us, especially here in the US, and the human toll is forgotten…that’s why I loved this book because it matter-of-factly tells the story of life in wartime.

Here is how aAazon describes the memoir:

“What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2? Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.”

I think one of the most powerful aspects of this book is that, while worried about German bombers overhead, life also went on with a goal of “normalcy” amid the madness.

Amazon’s description also notes:

“Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes”

Yes, you read right: some World War II recipes like this one, for Lord Woolton pie, which is a pastry dish of vegetables, widely served in Britain in the Second World War when rationing and shortages made other dishes hard to prepare.

Robbie is also the Author of six childrenโ€™s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle.

These are great books that inspire children to create, and I love them as well. As for “While The Bombs Fell”, I bought mine from Amazon Kindle, and it’s only $1.99 – so click this link and buy this terrific memoir!

https://www.amazon.com/While-Bombs-Fell-Robbie-Cheadle-ebook/dp/B07GZ2NZFK

Hope you enjoyed this Wednesday Bookmobile – you can click on my website to see more of them!



Categories: Books / Media, Food, London, Memoirs, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

57 replies

  1. Fabulous presentation and review John. Congrats Robbie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. A great review! Wonderful to find Robbie featured on your blog today, John. Sharing…

  3. What a great review of Robbie’s book, John. I could feel the breathing through the gas mask. My parents escaped to China when Japan took over Hong Kong, so they didn’t have first hand threatening to tell.

    I have the book on my TBR, Robbie. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow, these pictures really brought home to me the fear that must have prevailed during that time. We, humans, are a cruel bunch.
    I have Robbie and her mom’s book on my TBR and look forward to the read.

  5. Thank you for featuring Robbie today, John. She is a treasure.

  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    John Rieber show cases Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hanley Eaton and their book While the Bombs Fell based on the memories of Elsie in World War Two… a terrific post.

  7. Such an amazing story–one that shouldn’t be forgotten. Thanks for featuring this, John.

  8. I enjoyed reading this book. My parents also lived through the war, and had similar stories to tell.

  9. A great post on Robbie’s wonderful book. I enjoyed it as well. LIke you say, those of us raised in North America have no idea about how war affects people, especially children. The pictures you have included are perfect!!

  10. A great post on Robbie’s wonderful book. I enjoyed it as well. LIke you say, those of us raised in North America have no idea about how war affects people, especially children. The pictures you have included are perfect!!

  11. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:
    Thank you, John Rieber, for the amazing article about While the Bombs Fell. John has included some lovely photographs in this post and made it very visual and interesting. If you haven’t visited John’s blog before it is a most interesting and unique mix of food, books and movies and well worth a visit. John’s blog has been nominated for an award at the 2019 Annual Bloggers Bash in the category of Best Entertainment Blog.

  12. Lovely to see Robbie here. I have this on my kindle and hope to get to it soon.

  13. Thank you, John, for featuring our book here. We are delighted. I will share it on my blog tomorrow.

    • Robbie, I focus on stuff I love on my Wednesday Bookmobile, and I loved this memoir…so many people have NO history of a world at war, and the danger and sacrifice that is an everyday fact of life…and it’s beautifully written!

      • Thank you, John. I am so pleased you enjoyed it and understood its meaning and style. I did write this book because I think it is very important for the younger generations to remember so that they avoid making the same mistakes.

      • Yes, here in the US I don’t see nearly as much awareness of the suffering around the world – and for me, the fear is we are ill-prepared to handle any situation like this…or just assume it could never happen – wouldn’t it be nice if this type of world conflict never happened again?

  14. I have bought Robbie’s book, but have yet to read it. It reminds me of my Mum’s wartime experiences during the Blitz in London. She was 15 in 1939, and saw it all.
    Great feature!
    Best wishes, Pete.

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