Bryony Hill grew up in a family where no one ever talked about the war, but when she read a treasured bundle of letters passed on by her mother, Bryony began to realise just how devastating the consequences had been. The correspondence was from her grandfather ‘Smithy’ Shaw, serving in the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, to her grandmother, Esme, living in New Zealand with their children.
Shortly afterwards, clearing out the loft of the family home, Bryony came across a battered suitcase full of letters from her father’s side of the family, sent between her father Trevor, who served in the Navy, and his brother and parents.
How I Long to be With You is a fascinating collection of letters, photographs and other memorabilia that document the realities of life during the Second World War. They vividly illustrate the pain and frustration of these enforced separations, but also display incredible humour and bravery; a poignant tribute to families living under extraordinary circumstances.