History & True Crime

The Angels of Englemere Wood by Karen Farrington published by Michael Joseph today


We are delighted to announce the publication of The Angels of Englemere Wood by Karen Farrington – the inspiring and uplifting true story of a group of poor London girls dispatched to a children’s home in rural England during the Blitz, where a formidable nurse and Lady in Waiting transformed their lives forever.

In the gruelling years between the two world wars, Queenie Clapton’s family struggled to stay afloat. With a father traumatised by the first gruesome conflict, only finding respite in local pubs, and a mother working night and day trying to keep food on the table, Queenie and her sister were swept up by the Waifs and Strays Society – a network of homes caring for thousands of children across the UK. As war broke out, waifs and strays like Queenie had no idea what the future would hold.

Recently widowed, Lady Peyton knew her sons, both handsome and upstanding, would be heading to the front lines. Finding herself alone for the first time in her life, the Lady in Waiting decided to open the doors of her now unnervingly quiet stately home to the London children’s home looking for shelter from the Blitz.

Under the guidance of the formidable nurse Matron Bailey, young girls from the Waifs and Strays Society moved in with their high society hostess. Instead of a rattle of bombs, they heard birdsong. After enduring raw poverty, the girls now attended knitting circles with royalty. They were given a new lease on life, building a family under the toughest of circumstances and a sense of purpose and community that lasted generations.

The Angels of Englemere Wood is the inspiring true story of that remarkable bond forged in times of trouble, and the women at the heart of it all.

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