Called Up, Sent Down : The Bevin Boys' War
At the outbreak of the Second World War the government short-sightedly allowed thousands of miners to enlist in the armed services. By 1943 the war effort was in danger of grinding to a halt because of a lack of coal. In answer Ernest Bevin, the Minister of Labour, sought service Volunteers - and compulsorily sent 20,000 18-year-olds, who'd expected to fight for their country, down the mines with them. Called Up, Sent Down paints a picture not just of the arduous life below ground but as the Bevin Boys found it in the tightly-knit mining communities, which in some cases welcomed them but in others treated them with hostility. Called Up, Send Down is an enthralling oral and social history of an episode of war that has never been fully told.