The letters of Olive Lewis and Leslie Couzens: 1939 to 1945
A Hertfordshire couple, Olive and Leslie Couzens, wrote to each other daily throughout the Second World War. Olive was 18 at the outbreak of war, and was just starting her teacher training at Portsmouth College. Leslie was in the London Rifle Brigade, and went over with the 11th Armoured Division to France in June 1944. They married in 1942, and their first daughter was born in October 1944. They moved from North London to Potters Bar after the war, where they spent the rest of their married life.
Their letters are now with the Imperial War Museum in London, and describe life from both aspects – home life and military life. They describe their everyday activities, emotions, frustrations, high and low points, the dangers, and generally how they coped with their situations. We have included extracts from Olive’s letters while she was at college, and Leslie’s account from landing in France, and his progress through to Germany.
Olive's letters are read by her great granddaughter Laura Clarke and Leslie's are read by Nick Blatchley, a Herts Memories volunteer.