This book is about a young boy’s experiences during the Second World War.  A Far Cry from a White Apron – The story of a Brighton Bevin Boy is is a fascinating memoir which describes with poignancy stories of lost youth and a harsh life spent during a turbulent historical period.

The content is frank and occasionally disturbing and harrowing, even more so because Leslie Wilson was only eighteen years old in 1943 when he made the harsh transition from working as a shop assistant to working in a Welsh coal mine.

Despite his ambitions to join the Royal Navy, Leslie found himself entered into a ballot and was sent to work in the Welsh mines as a Bevin Boy.

In this powerful memoir, co-written with his younger brother Michael in 2000, Leslie describes the hardship and dangers of his working life in the mines which continued until 1947, and the lack of acknowledgement of the role played in the war by these unwilling conscripts.

A Far Cry from a White Apron is now out of print but is available as a PDF download of the original text on a pay-what-you-like basis. You can download it by clicking here. To make a donation for this booklet, please click on the button below.

For more information on the history of the Bevin Boys, read the Museum of Wales account, and the National Archives blog.