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  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9781845968755
  • Imprint: Mainstream Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Dear Joan

Love Letters from the Second World War

Extracts from the largest known surviving collection of love letters from the Second World War

Dear Joan comprises a unique series of letters between a young airman, Tony Ross, and Joan Charles, a girl whom he met briefly in England before he was posted to the Mediterranean during the Second World War. Through these letters, the book traces the development of their relationship from friendship to long-lasting love.

With the enthusiasm of youth, Tony and Joan share their dreams of an ideal life in a reconstructed, post-Second World War Britain. Joan's letters reveal the problems of daily life in wartime Britain and give an insight into her voluntary work for the Fire Guard, the land army and the Red Cross, and the bureaucracy she encounters in her job with the Civil Service. Meanwhile, Tony describes the challenges of life in the desert, his increasing responsibilities in the RAF and his experiences in the numerous countries he visits throughout the Middle East.

Dear Joan is a touching account of how Tony's and Joan's love began with a chance wartime encounter and quickly blossomed through letters exchanged throughout the Second World War, across the miles that separated them.

  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9781845968755
  • Imprint: Mainstream Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the authors

Tony Ross

Tony Ross has been illustrating books for over 40 years, and has been published all over the world. He is perhaps best known for his much-loved Little Princess series, which has been adapted for TV and is currently showing on Channel 5s Milkshake, and for his collaboration on David Walliams’ best-selling children’s books. Tony’s books have been shortlisted for the The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (Slug Needs a Hug) and the Kate Greenaway (Dr Xargle's Book of Earth Tiggers), and Tadpole’s Promise won the Silver Medal Smarties Prize. He has been named as the best-selling illustrator in the UK for three years in a row, and he is the UK’s libraries' most-borrwed illustrator. He lives in Rutland.

Joan Charles

Tony Ross served in the RAF between 1940 and 1946, reaching the rank of wing commander and being awarded the DFC. After the war, he enjoyed a long career in marketing, before retiring in 1990. He married Joan Charles in 1946 and they remained married until Joan's death in 2006. Tony lives in France and will celebrate his 90th birthday in 2011.

Praise for Dear Joan

Personal stories, especially those as compelling as Tony's and Joan's, are hugely important in putting a "human" face on the war

Sir Peter Squire, Chairman of Trustees, Imperial War Museum


Weekly News

Most enjoyable

Dame Vera Lynn

A gorgeous book

Anne Diamond

Wonderful . . . a tribute to the strength of love

Vanessa Feltz

A story of true love against the backdrop of war and separation


A life-affirming book

Peter Hart, Imperial War Museum

Intensely romantic . . . a remarkable courtship by mail which survived the most testing of separations during the most difficult of times

Mail on Sunday

[Gives] a flavour of a time when danger and separation made romance especially poignant . . . an uplifting and relevant story


Personal and poignant

Manchester Evening News

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