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This gripping account of the impact of the Blitz upon an Upminster couple was recently unearthed by the diarist's son. The harrowing events described so poignantly had an immediate effect on the author, who set out to compile this tribute both to his family and the countless people who have experienced or died from air raids. The Blitz diary began less than a year after Mary Hoodless had married, just three days before the Declaration of War in 1939. Such a personal record running through the Blitz period is unique. The entries throw light on the minutiae of trying to continue everyday life with a sense of normality against the backdrop of fear and uncertainty. As well as the diary itself, the place of the Blitz in the wider war is contemplated. Life was hard for most before the war; it became much worse for six years and it then became possible for the survivors to rebuild in a time of relative prosperity. All three phases are described in the family story. The moving narrative of the diary together with the explanation of the bigger picture demonstrate the courage, humour and great determination of ordinary Essex people in the face of war.