Hi, Victoria, please tell readers about yourself.
I live in Milford, CT with my husband of thirty years. I graduated Fairfield University with a degree in Psychology in 1979. I have worked in the financial services field for 30 years and have three interesting and successful daughters I am very proud of.
I am the Great Granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson. I inherited her forty-three diaries that span from 1909–1969. They were passed down to my grandmother, Ruth Ferris Thompson who was married to Ruby's son, John Thompson. At one time the Diaries were given to my mother, Adele Thompson Aldridge who keeps a journal herself and tells me she is now on #100. Ruby's Diaries had several ownership transfers and were eventually passed down to me. I intend to pass them down another generation to my daughters.
My grandmother Ruth Ferris Thompson and I were very close. She left me Ruby’s journals as she thought I would be the most inclined to preserve and share them with anyone that was interested. Recently I started re-reading the World War II journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not remembered and shared with the world.
Fascinating, I come from a long line of military men from WWI to present. I had two combat tours in Iraq, and have written a memoir about my war-time service, called Stormjammers: The Extraordinary Story of Electronic Warfare in the Gulf War. So when I say fascinating, I mean wow, this is the kind of reading I love.
Tell readers about the books you've produced based on the journals?
World War II London Blitz Diary Volume 1 tells Ruby's story from September 1, 1939 to December 31, 1940. Imagine seeing hundreds of Messerschmitt war planes overhead and hearing the explosion of bombs being dropped around you. Wondering if this is the day one will fall on your house. That's what Ruby lived through in this time.
Ruby speaks candidly about her unhappiness enduring an unsatisfactory marriage. She was the mother of seven sons, two of whom were enlisted in the R.A.F. One of which became an amputee as the result of hitting a land mine and the other son was captured and sent to a concentration camp as a prisoner of war. Her tale is a mix of the commonplace and the historic as seen through her eyes.
"As I looked over Kent yesterday, so peaceful, all the harvest in, so green, so quiet, the sense of the folly of the war enveloped me ever more tightly and suffocating then in Blitzed London. Much of London is offensive to the sight, so that when one sees portions of it utterly destroyed unconsciously one is reconciled to the destruction. . . . The further I went from London the more I was convinced that war is only made by the few bad men in power, for their own profit."
World War II London Blitz Diary Volume 3 tells Ruby's story during 1942 and 1943. Again, Ruby's own words help tell the story best:
Whilst the racket is going on I get very sick, and retch constantly. I can’t help it, and I can’t stop it. ... God be merciful to me, a sinner. Deliver us from evil."
Riveting, I can see why you wanted to publish Ruby's diaries for the world. I served as a combat flyer, so I lived the first Gulf War from the air and ground, and I can tell you both are terrifying every day, and I wouldn't have wanted to live in London during the Blitz. They pin medals on soldiers--I received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Medal, and several others for my distinguished war-time service--but too often society forgets about the families left behind. The war was as hard on my wife as it was on me; she earned those medals right along with me.
Where can readers get your books?
World War II London Blitz Diary Volume 1 Kindle Edition
World War II London Blitz Diary Volume 2 Kindle Edition
World War II London Blitz Diary Volume 3 Kindle Edition
Thank you, Victoria, for stopping by!