Great Britain

Otley’s wartime stories

WARTIME stories of Otley people are re-told in a book which looks at the town during the 1939-1945 global conflict.

To mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe and Victory in Japan Day, the book has been written by Dr Jason Knowles and published by Otley Town Council.

The book was designed by The Yorkshire Wordwright with production by Print Crew, both Otley based.

Otley – Memories of the Second World War features a wide selection of photographs and is a story of individuals, families and people living in the town in wartime.

Dr Knowles said: “When war was declared on 3 September 1939, Otley had been preparing for the threat of air raids and gas attacks, but what would six years of warfare mean to the people of Otley?

“This book draws on memories of Otley residents, personal stories, news reports and archive material.

“This is the story of those who were there; of people who would never accept the possibility of defeat, who coped with rationing, blackouts, conscription and bombing, who welcomed evacuees, greeted Allied troops with hospitality and lived alongside prisoners of war on their doorsteps.

“This book covers the story of wartime Otley, from the role played in the war effort by local industry and agriculture to those in the Armed Forces and Home Guard and eventually to the celebrations on VE-Day and VJ-Day.”

A limited stock of this new book is currently available from Otley Core priced £13. Copies can be ordered by emailing [email protected] or via telephone 01943 466335.

As part of the project there is also a short documentary film featuring Otley residents recalling their memories of the Second World War.

The film Memories of Wartime has been produced by Otley-based Mark Currie of Catapult Films and has a running time of 25 minutes. A very limited stock is available to buy from Otley Core priced £5.

Victory in Europe Day marks the formal acceptance by the Allies of Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 8,1945, bringing the war in Europe to an end.

But for many thousands of British armed forces personnel the war continued as they were still involved in fighting in the Far East.

Victory over Japan Day marks the day Japan surrendered on the August 15, 1945 - effectively bringing the the Second World War to an end.

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