In the decade after World War I London's East Enders had a pat apology for any thin-cheeked, jittery, neurotic child: "You'll have to excuse her. She's a war baby—was born the night a bomb fell two streets away." Last week 120,000 young Londoners were growing up on the firing line of another and worse war.

For 80,000 of them, between the ages of 5 and 14, there were even worse dangers than falling bombs. London's compulsory education system, had practically broken down. Though the London County Council sent truant officers after parents...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!