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The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  16 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In the winter of 1948, a post-war darkness felled Britain and happiness, like sweets, was tightly rationed. So begins Harry Leslie Smith’s bitter-sweet memoir: The Empress of Australia which depicts life in post-war Yorkshire. Recently demobbed from the RAF, Smith and his German war bride must try to adjust to a civilian society that is scarred from not only the war but th ...more
ebook, First, 193 pages
Published March 2013 by Barley Hole (first published December 10th 2012)
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(showing 1-16)
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Jeff Dawson
Jun 26, 2013 Jeff Dawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jolly old England? If your part of the upper-crust, yes! If not, the future is not bright.

Mr. Smith has done it again. In the vein of Dickens, Mr. Smith paints a realistic picture of post war Great Britain. I have studied the topic for over thirty years, but something was missing in the accolades that were lavished on the Allies total victory over the Axis powers. Russia revealed in their new territorial acquisitions. The US flexed its power as a new Super power. But what of England? She too was
Hannah Tantillo
Jan 28, 2013 Hannah Tantillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in a series of memoirs.

The books weave together Harry's personal experience with history as we know it today. He was born in 1923 in England and lived in complete poverty growing up. His family situation was incredibly difficult his whole childhood. He joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and was stationed in Hamburg, Germany after the war. It was fascinating to see how people lived in Germany after the war--this was something I had absolutely never thought of. He als
Terry Tyler
Jan 05, 2013 Terry Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to get this when it was on Amazon for free, but I would have bought it anyway, having read the two other books in the series, 1923: A Memoir and Hamburg 1947.

Harry Smith is back from the second world war, and brings his German bride over to live in darkest working class Halifax - a bit of a shock for her! The book documents not only the ups and downs of Harry and Friede's relationship, but also tells much about how people felt after the war, in both Germany and England, about
Feb 07, 2013 Lucinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Beautifully atmospheric, stunning and heart-wrenchingly candid this melancholic portrait, is a nostalgic tale of time past.

Poignant and indisputably compelling, this realistic account of life during post-war 1940’s Britain is truly insightful. War-related literature seems to hold sway during the events of World War one or the Second World War, but rarely one is able to glimpse what it was like after this catastrophically consequential moment within history. Peace may have been sought, but livin
When I heard that I had won this book as a Goodreads giveaway, I was eager to start reading it. It is an honest and open account of Harry's life after the end of the war. So many countries struggled to recover after WWII which caused many families to emigrate to Canada, U.S. or Australia. Harry had a tough upbringing, joined the RAF in WWII, and after the war, married a German woman he met in Hamburg. The first few years of their marriage was hard, from trying to make ends meet, looking for work ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Judie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Empress of Australia, the third installment of Harry Smith's superb social commentary, is as honestly written and brilliantly conceived as the other two books. Harry, thank you for sharing your youth with us - it was such an inspiring journey and I admire your tenacity. It was a pleasure getting to know you.
Tina Wright
Mar 16, 2013 Tina Wright rated it it was amazing
I loved the book..I couldn't stop reading once I started. It is third in a series and I have yet to read the 2nd book. I look forward to that one..Harry's honesty and dry wit are refreshing considering what he went through in his life..
Cynthia L'Hirondelle
May 19, 2013 Cynthia L'Hirondelle rated it it was amazing
Like all of Harry Leslie Smiths books, I could not put it down, very eloquently written and important social history.
Nikki Bywater
Sep 07, 2014 Nikki Bywater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is now 1948 and Harry is beginning a new life out of the RAF and with new wife Friede, they move back to Halifax, and begin their married life back living with Harry’s mother. Britain is left broken after the war; the future is looking dull and dark for the couple, with not many prospects on the horizon in Yorkshire, poverty and hardship is all that await them. Can Harry and Friede who survived a war, now survive the harsh and coldness of a life with nothing on the horizon?

This is the third i
Helen Skinner
Helen Skinner rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2013
Janet Bayly
Janet Bayly rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2016
Pauline Barclay
Pauline Barclay rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2013
Sean Calvert
Sean Calvert rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2014
Jan 28, 2015 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Not my favorite of his books, but nice to conclude the story.
Keeley rated it did not like it
Oct 06, 2013
Skye Taylor
Skye Taylor rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2014
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Harry Leslie Smith is a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and, at 90, an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy. His Guardian articles have been shared over 60,000 times on Facebook and have attracted huge comment and debate. He has authored numerous books about Britain during the Great Depression, the second world war and postwar austerit
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