Author gives people the chance to tell their story


A new book in which Derbyshire people recall their memories of World War Two has been published after a successful appeal in the Ripley and Heanor News.

Malcolm Cowper’s “Derbyshire’s Unsung Heroes”, collects the reminscences 35 local people and features two people from Ripley.

Malcolm, 67, of Dymond Grove, Grassmoor, said: “These stories came in response to a letter you were kind enough to publish last year, in which I asked anyone with memories of the war to contact me. The result is this book, which captures the comradeship, humour and heroism that carried this remarkable generation through fear, loss and sacrifice. Reading it, you begin to understand how much we owe them for their fortitude and their resilience in the face of one of the most ruthless enemies this country has ever had to face.”

Richard Tadman, of Nottingham Road in Ripley, recalls memories of his school class spending long periods in air raid shelters, bravely trying to recite multiplication tables against a background of exploding bombs and the roar of anti-aircraft guns. Connie Davis worked in a clothing factory in London making uniforms but moved with her husband to Ripley in 1942 to escape the bombing. Malcolm said: “It was only meant to be for the duration of the war but they liked it so much they never went back to London!”

Now 99, she lives in a care home in Belper but her daughter, Marion Grattan, from Maple Avenue, Ripley, took Malcolm to interview her.

The book is on sale for £9.50 at Waterstones in Derby and Chesterfield, and is also available from Amazon.