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Description aka What Happened to the Corbetts?
Originally published in 1939 and unavailable for over 2 years, a novel written just before the war, which prophetically describes how it would affect a town like Southampton.
Ordeal concerns the effect of aerial bombing on the British city of Southampton - a major maritime centre - in the early part of World War II.
The novel addresses the issues of the aftermath of bombing, such as the spread of disease from lack of clean water, and what may be done to relieve the distress of those affected by it. On the initial day of publication, a thousand copies of the novel were distributed free of charge to ARP members to inform them of what they may expect.
Peter Corbett, a local lawyer, his wife, Joan, and their three children make the decision to move away from the war zone after their house, and Corbett's offices, are destroyed. They move aboard their small yacht, kept on the river Hamble, but quickly realize that escaping to ports further from Southampton is the only answer. However, because of the fears of cholera and other diseases, many ports are under quarantine.
Whilst on the open water of the English Channel, the Corbetts go to the assistance of some downed British naval pilots. Their commanding officer suggests that the family should head for the French port of Brest - where Corbett may volunteer for war service and his family may board a liner for the safety of Canada.
The book was published in the United States under the title Ordeal.