Fiona Joseph, author of the acclaimed biography of Beatrice Cadbury, has found inspiration once more from the Cadbury Archives for her latest book, Comforts For The Troops.
The novel is based on the lives of women workers at Cadbury during World War One.
The author’s research uncovered the fact that Cadbury, which banned married women from the workplace, was forced to relax its stance when war broke out, resulting in many married women returning to the Bournville Works.
The factory women made a phenomenal contribution to the war effort, parcelling gifts (‘Comforts’) of chocolate and knitting for the servicemen abroad, as well as working voluntarily in the local auxiliary hospitals.
When the war in ended in 1918 many of the female employees were forced to stand aside for the returning men.
Fiona Joseph explains: ‘All these facts offered huge dramatic potential and – coupled with my own imagination – led me to create a story weaving together the lives of three fictional characters who work at the factory during the war.’
Sarah Foden, Information Manager at Mondelez International, who helped Fiona with her research requests says: ‘Fiona was a regular visitor to the Cadbury Archives when researching her previous book on Beatrice Cadbury. We were pleased to be able to help her once again by sharing our collection of records and artefacts from The Great War period.’
Fiona Joseph is a Birmingham author whose books include Beatrice: The Cadbury Heiress Who Gave Away Her Fortune. Fiona is a popular public speaker in the West Midlands and beyond and she will be speaking about the background to ‘Comforts for the Troops’ at a number of WW1 commemoration events this year. Read more at fionajoseph.com
The book is available from Amazon is paperback or ebook format: Comforts For The Troops