The first thanks must go to my mother Margaret. Without her ability to think new thoughts about her war years in 1947, this story would never have become a book. It also couldn’t have happened without the help of Absolute Print in North London, who turned her four fat folders of badly typed sheets into a word document on a memory stick for me.
But thanks also must go to my sister Maureen for her editing skills, ongoing encouragement and wisdom, and memories of times when I was tiny and she was a bit bigger. Maureen had learned to read sitting beside her mother during air-raids, following the words of stories like Winnie The Pooh. Her memories of those days, of Camp coffee and dried eggs, and standing with her mother watching the sky fill with planes heading for Normandy, are an important part of “Bombweed”. At primary school she loved writing, her “Compositions” often read out to the class. The decision to study sciences rather than literature was a surprising change of direction.
Maureen trained as a teacher but then worked as a scientific editor using her writing skills as well as her scientific background. The discipline of proof reading, and later work recruiting authors and promoting new scientific publications, were valuable skills when work started on “Bombweed”.
I would also like to thank Roger for his patience and chilled rosé, given freely while I wrote for hours on his wonderful terrace in Southern France, my Writers Workshop friends at City University for their creative and honest criticism and my family and friends for their tolerance of my preoccupied state over the last four years.
Gratitude and appreciation goes to Sarah and her colleagues at Silverwood Books for guiding us to the end of this long journey.
Many of the places described exist or existed. Some have been given new names. The people are fictional. However what happens to them in this story, happened to real people in one way or another. The real events of the years of war described in the book are as true to history as I have been able to manage. Any errors are mine.
Gillian Fernandez Morton