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Under Fire
Under Fire

Under Fire

Black Britain in Wartime 1939–45


256 Pages, 5.08 x 7.8

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $24.99 (CA $33.99) (US $24.99)

Publication Date: April 2021

ISBN 9780750994354

Rights: US & CA

The History Press (Apr 2021)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $24.99


During the Second World War all British citizens were called upon to do their part for their country. Despite facing the discriminatory ‘colour bar’, many black civilians were determined to contribute to the war effort where they could, volunteering as air-raid wardens, fire-fighters, stretcher-bearers and first-aiders. Meanwhile, black servicemen and women, many of them volunteers from places as far away as Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana and Nigeria, risked their lives fighting for the Mother Country in the air, at sea and on land. 

In Under Fire, Stephen Bourne draws on first-hand testimonies to tell the whole story of Britain’s black community during the Second World War, shedding light on a wealth of experiences from evacuees to entertainers, government officials, prisoners of war and community leaders. Among those remembered are men and women whose stories have only recently come to light, making Under Fire the definitive account of the bravery and sacrifices of black Britons in wartime.

Author Biography

STEPHEN BOURNE is the author of BLACK POPPIES and several other books on the subject of black history. He is a graduate of the London College of Printing and received a MPhil from De Montfort University. In 2008 he worked as a historical consultant on the Imperial War Museum's FROM WAR TO WINDRUSH exhibition. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by London South Bank University in 2017. He lives in South London.