War Underground: Memoirs of a Bevin Boy in the South Wales Coalfield


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Michael Edmonds was born in Dorset in 1926. His first-hand account describes the experiences of one of the 47,000 young men plucked from their everyday lives to go underground as Bevin Boys during the Second World War.

Michael Edmonds kept notes from when he arrived in South Wales, aged 18, through Nationalization in 1947 to his return to civilian life. He wrote his insightful, informative and often moving memoirs to set down the respect he felt for the miners and convey it to the wider world. But as he began his post-war careers as an artist and architect his text was forgotten, and it is only now that it is available for all to read.

Michael Edmonds sadly passed away on 30 March 2014. His obituary in the Guardian can be read online. ‘The War Underground’ has been reprinted and is now available in paperback. Following the death of the author since publication of the first edition, the new edition contains a preface written by his daughter Jane Edmonds.

South Wales Record Society publication no. 26
By Michael Edmonds
Edited by Peter Wakelin, with a foreword by Kim Howells and preface by Jane Edmonds.
First published 2013; second edition (paperback; 136 pages) 2018

This publication is sold and dispatched by the South Wales Record Society.

Additional information

Weight 0.360 kg
Dimensions 21.6 × 15.4 × 5.5 cm


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