NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND AT WAR, 1939-45, by Craig Armstrong. Published by Pen and Sword Books ( £12.99. Softback.

IN the north of the county in 1939 huge numbers of men and women came forward for service in the military or in roles such as the Home Guard, ARP services or nursing. It was a key recruitment centre for the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, with men from the area being heavily involved in fighting during the blitzkrieg of France and the Low Countries, the miracle of Dunkirk, and many other battles.

The district was also vital as a training area, with the uncluttered skies being widely used for the training of aircrew, and one airfield – RAF Milfield – played a key role in the build-up to D-Day. Rich with fertile land, north Northumberland also played a crucial role in the war effort by supplying food to its own communities and to the wider Britain.