Chris Barker joined the Post Office at fourteen, working as a messenger boy and then as a counter clerk, becoming an active trade union member. He served as a signalman in North Africa during the Second World War. Bessie Moore was a colleague of Chris Barker’s at the Post Office, before working at the Foreign Office, using her training in Morse code to translate intercepted German radio messages. She was thirty when twenty-nine-year-old Chris first wrote from North Africa.
Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of non-fiction including To the Letter, On the Map, and Just My Type. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive, Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles, were bestsellers.