Monthly Talk 7th November 2019

BATH AT WAR 1939 - 1945

SPEAKER: David Lassman

Bath at War 1939-45 will be an account of the city's experience during the conflict, covering in detail life on the Home Front. The narrative of the global struggle is given through a focus on the ordeals endured by the people of Bath, as they cheered their men and women fighters off to war, welcomed thousands of evacuated men, women and children to the city, and faced the full might of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Rare insights into the life of the war-torn city will be included, along with unfamiliar stories from the footnotes of history; from the Bath blitz to the influx of American GIs.

The talk will incorporate memoirs and memories, along with the research from official records and newspaper accounts undertaken by the brothers, so those attending can see the war from the perspective of ordinary people, although the military experiences of Bath's citizens - and in certain cases their tragic sacrifices - are also included. More controversial topics are also touched upon, such as civil defence, military injustice, racism and local politics, to give a full and fascinating picture of a great city facing profound trials of endurance and courage, thus revealing the many characteristics which has sustained Bath throughout its illustrious history.


Nigel and David Lassman were born and raised in Bath, both having attended Beechen Cliff School; where a room in the school's English Centre has been named after David. Both have spent time working for the Ministry of Defence and both are now full-time writers. David has had several books published, including The Regency Detective series of novels set in Jane Austen's Bath, Frome in the Great War and The Awful Killing of Sarah Watts; an account of an infamous nineteenth-century murder that appalled but enthralled Victorian Society in equal measure and was investigated by a colleague at the Detective Branch of Mr Whicher.

Bath at War 1939-45 is Nigel Lassman's first book, in collaboration with his brother David, but he has researched several other subjects on the city - including Charmy Down Airfield and A Social History of the Railways in Bath, ready for publication.