Press release


NEW BOOK REVEALS LOCAL STORIES OF LIFE DURING WARTIME

A local volunteer champion’s six-year quest to record and reveal Derbyshire’s hidden stories of WW2 has finally come to fruition, thanks to sheer determination and some help from the Ministry of Defence.

Through touching stories of loss and sacrifice, Chesterfield author and Volunteer Centre Manager, David Radford’s extraordinary new book, “Through Their Eyes”, brings together remarkably moving and vivid personal accounts from local contributors on how the Second World War affected them personally. Its publication this month is also set to bring an extra poignancy and local significance to Derbyshire Remembrance events this November. Available in digital and paperback print formats, all proceeds from the book will go straight into the Volunteer Centre’s Befriending Programme, which offers companionship and support to the socially isolated over 50 – a service even more vital during and following 18 months of the pandemic.

Once the project had been commissioned and funded by the Ministry of Defence, Derbyshire-born David – who undertook all the research and personally conducted dozens of interviews – had to overcome a series of problems to complete it, including two stints in hospital requiring long convalescent periods.“I was starting to think the who
le thing was jinxed,” said David, “but it’s done now and I feel it’s important because it represents more than just memories.

“When I started this I had no idea quite what a humbling experience it would be. Everyone I spoke to thought they had no right to be in the book because they didn’t think they’d contributed anything to the Nation’s War effort. But that’s about as far from the truth as it is possible to get. War affects us all. There will be a strand from some war which runs through all our families.than 45 years. He joined Chesterfield Volunteer Centre in 1996, taking over its management 14 years ago having saved it from closure and secured enough funds to enable its survival.

“These are the hidden war stories that marked the world and defined an entire generation. They are just as real as official accounts or personal diaries from the front line, but they are not always heard. It’s so important to capture them before they disappear forever”.

Movingly illustrated throughout with archive pictures from contributors and library sources, prices vary according to format with the A4 size 365-page glossy paperback retailing at £20. Cover design is by Magnus Shaw of MKS Creative, a Chesterfield-based web design company and a long-term supporter of the Volunteer Centre.

The book is now available direct from Chesterfield Volunteer Centre at 38 Knifesmithgate, Chesterfield, or online through: http://throughtheireyes.website.

For more information contact Magnus Shaw at MKS Creative on:
07908 715 212; email: mail@mkscreative.co.uk or visit: www.mkscreative.co.uk.

For author interviews and comments, please contact David Radford on 01246 276 777 or dave@chesterfieldvc.org.uk

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Editors’ notes

David Radford has been a prominent and hugely influential figure on Derbyshire’s volunteer scene for more than 45 years. He joined Chesterfield Volunteer Centre in 1996, taking over its management 14 years ago having saved it from closure and secured enough funds to enable its survival.

He has since raised more than £2m worth of funding for North East Derbyshire’s volunteer sector. He also instigated the annual Volunteer Sector Awards which seeks to raise the profile of the sector and give recognition to the thousands of people who selflessly give their time and skills to the region’s numerous and varied volunteer projects.

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