At the outbreak of the Second World War, the British 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.
Coal in WWII...
Related Scanning WWII dates...
27 Aug 39: Germany begins rationing food, footwear, textiles and coal
03 Mar 40: Italy protests UK-proposed ban on Italy importing German coal
07 Mar 40: British capture 9 Italian ships carrying German coal
09 Mar 40: Italian-Anglo agreement on importation of German coal is signed
18 Mar 41: Hitler centralizes all coal mining and coal distribution in Germany
01 Jul 41: Coal deliveries throughout Britain rationed to one ton per month
26 Aug 41: Commandos land in Norway to deny coal mines to Germans
06 Jun 42: British coal miners in Durham dissuaded from going on strike
02 Dec 43: Shortage of British coal miners forces conscription of the "Bevin Boys"
23 Jun 58: Britain finally end the rationing of coal, which began 01 Jul 41