Harprenden historian pens next work about the town throughout wartime

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 September 2018

Harpenden: A Village in Wartime. Picture: John Cooper

Harpenden: A Village in Wartime. Picture: John Cooper


An experienced Harpenden historian has penned another book which will soon be released.

Using postcards and pictures from his extensive collection, John Cooper has written Harpenden: A Village in Wartime.

The reader will be taken on a journey starting at the beginning of World War One, when 4,000 troops descended on the then-peaceful country village of Harpenden for training.

It also documents the interwar years of the 1920s and 30s, as the county got back onto its feet.

Harpenden saw much change in this period, with new housing and more roads built around the town.

With the outbreak of World War Two, Anderson shelters were built, trenches were dug, evacuees arrived, and nightly air-raid siren drills were sounded.

When the war was finally declared over, victory bonfires were lit around the village - but celebrations were tempered by continued rationing, which only finished in the 1950s.

This book, published by Amberley, pays tribute to the people of Harpenden who lived, served, and died throughout the two world wars.

There are 220 images in the vibrant work, which will be available from October 15.

John was a quantity surveyor and office manager until he retired in 2002. Since then he has published many books on Harpenden, including Harpenden Through Time and A Postcard From Harpenden.

He will be in Harpenden Books for a signing event on November 17, from 10.30am until 1pm.

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