on 30 June 2006
Anyone asked to make a few comments with regards to the Great War, will normally think of soldiers in battledress, trench warfare, thousands of casualties and the suffering that followed, few however will remark on the conditions at home, where the there was hardly a family in the land who was not involved or effected in one way or another with the "war effort". Although British troops had already gone overseas to fight for King (or Queen) and Country for centuries, the Great War is considered to have been the first time that there was such a massive impact on British life in general.
As Fathers, sons and brothers together with friends and work colleagues fought side by side on foreign fields, those left behind worked harder than ever before to grow crops, produce the machinery of war and ammunition and whilst suffering from the loss of loved ones, had to contend with aerial bombardment and rationing. There was a vast influx of foreign refugees and as women were now expected to play an increasing part too, their lives and the female role in society was to change for ever.
I am sure that this, Ian Beckett's latest book will be an invaluable source of reference for family history researchers, military, social and local historians together with the casual reader too. It includes a wealth of information together with many excellent previously unpublished photographs, original letters and fascinating personal testimonies from the vast collection at the National Archives therefore making it excellent and compelling reading.
My wife's comment when she saw this publication of "I will be reading this myself", speaks volumes - I feel sure this will be a very popular book with the ladies too!