Victoria Seymour’s “Victory’s Children”, the last in her series of Hastings wartime and post-war social histories, commemorates the 65th anniversary of the coming of peace in the summer of 1945. The blitz spirit of “all being in it together” had begun to evaporate before victory was declared; a war-weary population was slowly realising the extent of the austerity and hardships ahead.
With a backdrop of bomb sites and the grim remains of wartime defences, Hastings quickly re-established itself as a coastal resort. Visitors flocked to the town in their thousands, trying to recapture the carefree spirit of pre-war seaside holidays. And in spite of shortages of food and places to stay, Hastings rose to the challenge.
Included in the book is a collection of local memoirs that gives an insight into the lives of the young in wartime and victory. Among these are the boy turned battle-hardened man; a young member of the Free French, who threw away a signed Picasso sketch of herself and a war-scarred child who was destined to be one of Hastings’ most successful modern-day mayors and the writer of the foreword to this book.