Helena Hall's daily diary of the war years, from 1940 to 1945, is one of the most vivid, detailed and evocative personal records of the Second World War as it was experienced by people living in an English village. In her journal she describes her everyday activities alongside momentous national and international events. The war overshadows her narrative. Each daily entry gives us an insight into the extraordinary impact of the conflict on local lives, and shows how much energy and commitment ordinary people put into the war effort. This edited edition of her previously unpublished diary, written without embellishment or hindsight, shows how she heard about the war and how she reacted to it, and how it was reported and understood. It allows the reader today to connect directly with the wartime past and to see events clearly, as they were seen at the time.
Helena Hall (1873-1967) was a remarkable local historian and writer. Her first book, published in 1953, was William Allen 1770-1843. This was followed by a joint venture with the Reverend W.D. Parish A Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect, published in 1957. She wrote about Lindfield, the Sussex village where she lived, and is best known locally for her definitive book Lindfield Past and Present, published in 1959. Her most significant work is her journal of the Second World War, which is a vivid, detailed and comprehensive record of the war years as seen from the perspective of a woman living in a Sussex village.