Richard Brown kept a personal diary throughout the whole of the Second World War. He used it to record the course of the conflict as he perceived it, gleaned from the newspapers, the wireless and hearsay. As well as describing the development of the war, Brown captured a vivid image of life in wartime Britain, with rationing, blackout restrictions, interrupted sleep, the prospect of evacuation and the enormous burden placed on civilians coping with a full-time job as well as war work. Richard Brown was a well-informed man who made his own judgements. His attitude to the war is fascinating as he never doubts ultimate victory, despite being impatient and critical of the conduct of the war. His observations range from the pithy to the humorous and scathing. Above all, his diaries reflect the moral and social attitudes of the period, and the desire to be fully involved in the war effort. They also totally refute the argument that the British public were kept in the dark.
Helen D. Milligate has edited many personal diaries of the First and Second World Wars. She also compiled Got Any Gum Chum?. She lives in Cambridgeshire, where she works with the War Widows Association.