London's Bloody Blitz

July, 2019

The Lighter Side of

London’s Bloody Blitz 

as Seen Through the Eyes of a Young Boy 

A memoir of an unusual childhood. 

Now available on Amazon.

Two-time award-winning writer, Charles Berkoff, was a six-year-old cockney growing up in London’s East End at the start of World War II. With an emphasis on its lighter side, he now, eighty years later, relives his vivid memories of the London Blitz…surely the most extraordinary period in a young boy’s life. In addition to WWII action, he touches on the ways of old London, and the social issues that significantly impacted his boyhood: the British class structure, corporal punishment, and anti-EastEnder sentiment. Even as everyday living evolved into everyday dying, humor, strong English tea, and not being in the wrong place at the wrong time ensured his survival. Winston Churchill helped. This is "London’s Bloody Blitz" all over again, and in the telling of it, that young boy is obviously back in the middle of all the action. Spoiler Alert: The Allies beat the Axis Powers. In overtime. 

"An unusually light-hearted and very personal account of a terrifying time" … "A very different war memoir" ... "Funny and informative" ... "Great sense of humor" … "I liked the creative way the author divided each chapter into 'Before,' 'During,' and 'After’ sections" … "Fascinating revelations about the great Sir Winston Churchill" … "Brings back memories for those of us who were there" ... "Love the cockney dialect."


Early Reviews


Fred Falkner

5.0 out of 5 stars
An educational and throughly entertaining account of a bleak time

"Berkoff’s account of the World War II bombing of London from the perspective of a young boy is thoroughly captivating. His very witty and clever style entertains one while learning about those early years of the war filtered through a lad in the unique culture of East London. I particularly enjoyed the organization of the chapters with a prescript setting up the topic, a script detailing experiences and views, and a post script expressing views molded by the passage of time. Well researched and amazing detail."


5.0 out of 5 stars
A fascinating and humorous account of a young boy’s London life during WWII.

"Hard to believe that there could be humor in the terrifying horror of the London Blitz. But this author, who, as a young child, survived the ordeal, finds the "lighter side" of that experience. A very personal memoir: well written, informative, and surprisingly funny. I particularly liked the way he structured the different chapters, and was fascinated by his comments on the great Winston Churchill."

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars
A treasury of little known facts about life as a child in London during WWII

"Very well written and researched from life experience, this book proved most enjoyable for me as a former Londoner. I liked both the humor and the variety of stories told from the point of view of a young man with the typical East Ender's canny pragmatism, edginess and obvious dislike of anywhere away from the sound of Bow Bells.. His use of the vernacular is delightful and brings back strong memories of the typical London Taxi driver's constant commentary and wit. A very entertaining read."

Dan Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars
A fun (and educational) read about a heart-wrenching topic

"This was certainly a different look at this topic, and one that provided new insights to this middle-aged Aussie as to what the war in England was really like. I felt Charles's humourous style was a legacy of coping with the ordeals of his childhood, and were good examples of the powerful defense mechanism that was used to overcome the horror of The Blitz. I may of course be totally wrong about this, and Charles may have developed his sense of humour once he emigrated to the US, but I doubt it. I found the views on Dresden and Sir Winston Churchill to be of major interest, because they came from someone who lived through the thick of it - it just left me wanting to hear more such views, hence the four and not five stars."

Kindle Customer

4.0 out of 5 stars

A dark time told in a witty style

"I thoroughly enjoyed Charles Berkoff’s new book about his experiences during the London Blitz in World War II. The author has a great sense of humor and his light-hearted account of this critical phase of Britain’s war with Nazi Germany – as experienced by a young boy – is highly recommendable."

Robert W. Dahlin
5.0 out of 5 stars
Recollections of a small boy surviving the Blitz

"I completely enjoyed reading the book. It was well written, and was factual as will as humorous in spots. It detailed the experiences of a small boy caught up in the terrible London bombings during world war two. I have read a lot about the war, but never from the first hand experiences of a young boy and his real life reactions to the conflict. I recommend the book to anyone interested in history."