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Gosh oh gee

Alan Allport: ‘Being Boys’, 21 November 2013

Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Interwar Years 
by Melanie Tebbutt.
Manchester, 352 pp., £75, February 2012, 978 0 7190 6613 9
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... In August 1937, Les Tebbutt, a 17-year-old boy from Northampton, attended a Boys’ Brigade summer camp in Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. One night, as he and his friends made their way back through the camp after a trip to Butlin’s Pleasure Fair and a fish and chip supper, he noticed a ‘nice girl’ watching him from one of the caravans ...

Suitable Heroes

Susan Pedersen: Home from the War, 25 February 2010

Demobbed: Coming Home after the Second World War 
by Alan Allport.
Yale, 265 pp., £20, October 2009, 978 0 300 14043 9
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The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-45 
by Martin Francis.
Oxford, 266 pp., £32, November 2008, 978 0 19 927748 3
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... Merritt overheard one bystander mutter, ‘look how brown he is, he’s had a bloody good time.’ Alan Allport’s engaging look at the demobilisation of British soldiers after the war begins, in a sense, from Merritt’s feeling of deflation. There were five million Britons in uniform on VE Day, 90 per cent of them male. (...

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