Welcome to Day 1 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC

Welcome to Day 1 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC

Whie the Bombs Fell

While the Bombs Fell

How we decided on the title

While the Bombs Fell is a collaboration between my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton, and me and tells a fictionalized account of her life as a small girl growing up in the small English town of Bungay, Suffolk during World War II.

Deciding on a title for a book is never easy and we bandied around several ideas before coming up with “While the bombs fell.” Although this book is not violent and focuses more on how families carried on with their everyday lives, despite the on-going war, this title seemed appropriate as everything and everyone was touched by the bombing and the war across the channel and in the oceans and skies.

People became so accustomed to listening for the sound of the bomber planes and the air raid sirens they were not even aware they were doing so, especially the children. This is illustrated by the following quote from the book: “At night, before Elsie dropped off to sleep, she listened for the throb of the engines of the German, nicknamed Jerry, bomber planes and the piercing whistle of dropping bombs. The planes terrified her, and she lay worrying that one might drop a bomb on her house.”

Bungay was only bombed once during the war in 1940. My mother was just under two years old at the time, so she doesn’t remember it, but her older brothers and sisters do. When her brothers told her about the places that were damaged during the bombing, Elsie knew them all, especially the grandstand on the football pitch at the public recreation area.

Norwich, the closest city to Bungay, was badly bombed in April/May 1942 as part of the Baedeker Blitz. My mother was aware of the fires that blazed throughout the city during the attacks and the loss of life, especially civilians. She and her six brothers and sisters were also aware of the bombing of London and knew some evacuees who were forced to leave their home and come and live in Bungay to escape the air raids.

The air raid the shelter my grandfather built in the garden to protect his family during air raids held a particular fascination for me. The thought of crouching in a cold and damp room under the ground during the English winter, while the bomber planes flew over on their way to London is quite frightening. The following extract explains how my grandfather built the air raid shelter and how it also formed a useful part of the garden:

“Father and some helpers constructed the bomb shelter from galvanized corrugated steel sheeting, bolted together to form the body and ends of the shelter. They dug a deep hole in the ground, with stairs leading downwards and then poured the concrete floor and steps. Once the concrete set, they inserted the steel structure into the hole so that only the arched roof showed above the ground. Father covered the roof with soil so that Mother could use the space to plant vegetables. In this way, the air raid shelter served a useful purpose as a productive part of the garden.”

The war and threat of bombings also impacted the children while they were at school during the day. If the air raid siren sounded during the school day the children all lined up in a long crocodile to make the short walk to the air raid shelter. The children were orderly and disciplined during this fast walk and never gave their teachers any uphill; they understood the risk and the urgency.

Bungay also had its own squadron of U.S.A. pilots and soldiers who were affectionately referred to as the Bungay Buckaroos. They occupied the airfield and depot, known as RAF Bungay, which was located about two miles from Bungay near the village of Flixton. This book describes the impact the U.S.A. soldiers had on the moral of the British people and life in the town of Bungay.

Although my mother and her siblings made the most of life and enjoyed swimming and paddling in the river, gathering flowers, playing among the ruins of Bungay Castle and helping with the preparations for Christmas dinner, their lifestyle and activities were continuously being adapted to accommodate the rationing, blackouts and other changes necessitated by the war. It was for these reasons that we decided on While the Bombs Fell as a title.

 

BOOK BLURB

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 signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

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.

2a.Robbie

AUTHOR BIO:

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalized biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

 

Thank you for supporting this author and her tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on this author’s 4WillsPub tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.

 

 

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