Voices from the Front
An Oral History of the Great War
Structured around 83 interviews he conducted with British veterans of the First World War in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Imperial War Museum's oral historian Peter Hart presents a detailed chronological analysis of the conflict, exemplified by unsanitized accounts from the soldiers, sailors and airmen who experienced it first-hand.
The Defeat of the Zeppelins
Zeppelin Raids and Anti-Airship Operations 1916–18
From the first attacks in early 1915 to the last, three years later, German Zeppelin airships posed a novel and troubling threat to the British war effort. This history looks into the complex dangers that these ‘weapons of darkness’ imposed, and the innovations and ultimately successful methods employed to counter them.
The Best of Fragments from France
After BB’s cartoons about ‘Old Bill’ and his fellow British soldiers, facing the muddy trenches and German bombardment with sardonic humour, appeared in The Bystander, he became known as ‘The Man Who Won The War’, due to the morale boost they gave the country. This reproduction, published in conjunction with Help For Heroes, accompanies each image with informative captions.
Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty
The Last Naval Hero
Perhaps best known for taking custody of the German fleet in November 1918, Admiral David Beatty was a contradictory character and decorated hero of the Great War. This biography shines equal light on his victories and his failings, including his notorious performance at the Battle of Jutland, his ongoing enmity with fellow officer Sir John Jellicoe and his chequered personal life.
The Invisible Cross
Colonel Graham Chaplin fought in the trenches from 1914 until 1917. Based around his letters to his wife, this book reveals his worries about his men and family back home, and his grief for dead and wounded friends. Told that his promotion had been long delayed by his outspoken criticism of the conduct of the war, he replied that he would wear it as an ‘invisible cross of military glory’.
Welsh Yeomanry at War
A History of the 24th (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry) Battalion, the Welsh Regiment
The Welsh Yeomanry battalions, officered by the landed gentry, had been asked to volunteer a transfer for overseas service in 1916. This history tells how they came to fight in Egypt and Palestine – campaigns that are not widely remembered today but which led to Jerusalem’s liberation from 400 years of Ottoman rule – before participating in the final offensive in France.
Military Technology of the First World War
Development, Use and Consequences
In wartime, the weaponry and defences of the period often inspire new inventions, such as the armoured combat vehicles, tanks and submarines built during the First World War. This extensively illustrated study by a German historian documents the technology used by the Allies and the Central Powers, including machine guns, artillery guns and gas weapons.
Bath in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
Contemporary newspaper stories, archive photographs and ephemera provide an insight into life for the residents of Bath during the First World War. While normal civic activities continued, despite the altered circumstances, the billeting of soldiers, caring for wounded and war fundraising became commonplace.
Classic Stories of World War I
With contributions from 20 authors who lived through the Great War, the excerpts and short stories in this collection include Edith Wharton’s account of soldiers coming home laden with stories and trauma, Joseph Conrad’s tale of guilt and responsibility aboard a naval vessel, and Ernest Hemingway’s troubling snapshot of life in a soldier’s rehabilitation unit in Milan.
How Food Shaped the Course of the First World War
Dutch historian Blom uses first-hand accounts and contemporary documents to explore the key role that the production, distribution and preparation of food for the trenches played in the war’s progress. He also recounts his own attempts to prepare meals in a recreated field kitchen, including historical recipes and giving additional insight into the combat experience.
Soldier and Composer
George Butterworth, the enigmatic, patriotic young composer of English choral and orchestral music, was making a living as a reviewer, teacher and Morris dancer before the First World War, which he wrote about with a mixture of humour and frustration. Using previously unpublished documents, war diaries and fictionalized conversations, the author has reconstructed the brief life of a promising musician who was killed in the Battle of the Somme.
Horses of the Great War
The Story in Art
Full-blown cavalry charges were a feature of the First World War right up to the final months, in spite of the introduction of the machine gun, while horses were also a key part of supply lines. The contemporary illustrations in this volume accompany an extended history of the equestrian war, revealing how they were sourced from around the world and often kept in awful conditions with only rudimentary veterinary care.
Who Killed Kitchener?
The Life and Death of Britain's Most Famous War Minister
The death of Lord Kitchener when the battleship carrying him on a secret mission to Russia struck a German mine stunned a nation at war, and gave rise to various conspiracy theories. Suspicion fell on the IRA, the Boers, and even the British government, who disliked him intensely. Drawing on recently declassified documents, this history separates truth from fiction to reveal what really happened that day in June 1916.
York in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
In 1914–18 York welcomed troops and Belgian refugees, the Quaker community had to react to conscription, and Zeppelins bombed the city. This book explores the city’s wartime experience, drawing on contemporary publications, newspaper articles and photographs.
Wiltshire and the Great War
Training the Empire's Soldiers
The billeting and training of soldiers on Salisbury Plain swelled the population of Wiltshire by as much as 100,000 during the First World War. With first-hand accounts and archive photographs, this volume describes what life was like for the soldiers and civilians, and identifies over 30 separate military camps dotted around the county.
Torquay in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
In 1914, everything changed in the elite English Riviera resort of Torquay. This history includes anecdotes of French holidaymakers dancing with locals, the Torquinians who lost their lives, the Devonshire regiments, and local Sir Herbert Plumer, the Second Army’s commander.
TE Lawrence in War and Peace
The Military Writings of Lawrence of Arabia, an Anthology
Written before he became an international celebrity, the pieces in this collection shed light on Lawrence’s enigmatic personality and thoughts on war and politics. The first part consists of dispatches from Arabia; the second contains articles published in The Times and elsewhere on post-war reconstruction, revolution and guerrilla warfare. An introduction and notes explain the background to each.
The Royal Naval Air Service in the First World War
Aircraft and Events as Recorded in Official Documents
This collection of original documents records First World War air missions involving the Royal Naval Air Service (which would be merged with the RFC to form the RAF in 1918). Accompanied by numerous illustrations and reproductions of official paperwork, charts and flying maps, it provides insight into seaplane recovery and experiments with hydrovanes and flotation gear.
Norwich in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
During the war, Norwich was a growing commercial powerhouse supplying marching boots, Caley’s Marching Chocolate and Sopwith Camels to the war effort. This book revisits people’s wartime experiences of ‘The Fine City’, including Victoria Cross recipients and Colman’s employees.
The Naval Flank of the Western Front
The German MarineKorps Flandern 1914–1918
German raids on British shipping in the Channel were a constant problem for the Royal Navy and attempts were made to neutralize the threat from Belgian ports, including scuttling ships to block Zeebrugge harbour in 1918. This history reviews the activities of the MarineKorps Flandern during the war and the British responses, and contains a section of contemporary photographs.
Exeter in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
Exeter’s response to the war was swift, with players from its Football Club among the first to enlist and its early acceptance of Belgian refugees. This history also records the city’s fundraising efforts, the establishment of VAD hospitals, and the impact of farm equipment and horses being requisitioned.
Cardiff and the Valleys in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
This account of people’s everyday wartime experiences includes the recruitment and training of local regiments such as the ‘Cardiff Pals’, and life at the city’s dockyard – a crucial hub for the export of coal and arrival of refugees, casualties and German prisoners.
British Expeditionary Force
The 1914 Campaign
In the early stages of First World War, the BEF was driven back from Mons before advancing to the River Aisne, after which they faced the stalemate of trench warfare and the attritional Battle of Ypres. Drawing on the Official History and other sources, Rawson gives an in-depth British account of each battle and skirmish, with over 60 explanatory maps.
British POW Camps in the First World War
Thousands of German prisoners of war were kept in over 500 internment camps across the British Isles, but the story of these camps is less well known than other aspects of the period. This book, based on decades of research, lists their locations alphabetically and offers historical details and anecdotes that give an insight into everyday life for the prisoners and guards.
First published in 1931, this First World War classic is a fictionalized account of the author’s experiences told through the eyes of an ordinary soldier, Dick Bradshaw. It recreates the agony endured by the ‘poor bloody infantry’ from the Somme to the Third Battle of Ypres, as well as their humour and camaraderie. With an introduction by Edmund Blunden.
Heath Robinson's Great War
The Satirical Cartoons
Best known for his humorous cartoons featuring over-elaborate contraptions, William Heath Robinson published drawings in magazines satirizing the First World War throughout the conflict, among the most popular being his series ‘Inventions Rejected by the Inventions Board’ which included the ingenious ‘Hot-bottler for Warming Highlanders’ Legs after a Night in the Trenches’. This volume reproduces three collections of the best of this work, originally published during the war: Some Frightful War Pictures, Hunlikely! and The Saintly Hun.
Zeppelins Over the Midlands
The Air Raids of 31 January 1916
On 31 January 1916, nine German Zeppelins bombed several major towns in the Midlands, killing 70 people in the worst air raid of the First World War. Using local newspapers, coroner’s reports and GCHQ documents, this history records the routes taken by each airship and where its bombs fell, and names the officers, crew members and those who died.
The Great War and German Memory
Society, Politics and Psychological Trauma, 1914–1945
From the return of the ‘war neurotics’ – the psychologically disabled veterans of the First World War – in 1918 to the end of the Second World War in 1945, this social history explores the psychological effects of war on men, women and their families; the experience of traumatized survivors throughout the Weimar and National Socialist periods; and how theories of mental trauma were used to shape memory of the past war and define future visions of conflict.
War Amongst the Clouds
My Flying Experiences in World War I and the Follow-On Years, 1920–1983
Hugh White flew reconnaissance patrols aged just 18, in 1916, and within two years was Flight Commander of 29 Squadron, flying the SE5a biplane. This account of his aviation career begins with his own recollections of the First World War and continues with his son’s evaluation of his later posts: commanding fighter squadrons in India and Britain and then training technical staff before retiring as Air Vice Marshal.
Yorkshire Women at War
Story of Women's Land Army Hostels
The thousands of women who volunteered to take on agricultural work in Yorkshire during the Second World War were housed in a network of hostels, where they slept in shared dormitories and were often provided with only basic facilities. With first-hand accounts and contemporary photographs, this local history describes life under the sometimes-domineering wardens and out on the farms during the war and throughout the 1940s.
War! Hellish War! Star Shell Reflections 1916–1918
The Illustrated Great War Diaries of Jim Maultsaid
Jim Maultsaid was injured on the Somme in 1916, after which he was commissioned into the Chinese Labour Corps, directing these foreign recruits in non-combatant support work and manual labour. His unusual war diaries include his frank but often upbeat observations about his experiences as well as drawings, satirical cartoons and scrapbook photographs which give a unique insight into his everyday activities and the characters he encountered.
A History of the 12th (Pioneers) King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 1914–1918
The British Army’s Pioneer battalions were formed in 1914 in order to provide logistical support including the construction and repair of roads and the laying of barbed wire to protect the front line. This history of one battalion, originally published in the 1920s, gives an eyewitness account of movements around the war zone and shows how Yorkshire miners and engineers applied civilian skills in the new arena of industrialized warfare.
The 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War
The volunteer ‘Saturday night soldiers’ of the West Yorkshire Territorials were considered ‘too sleepy to fight well’ by General Haig, but on the Western Front the 1/5th Battalion became a formidable body of men. Sheehan uses newspapers, letters and photographs to tell the stories of many individuals who displayed heroism and fought with honour, even as their battalion was virtually wiped out on the Somme, at Passchendaele and at Wytschaete.
Churchill and Fisher
Titans at the Admiralty
The legendary Admiral Jacky Fisher and the energetic Winston Churchill were a formidable pair as the political and professional heads of the Royal Navy in the lead up to the First World War but their partnership ended in acrimony over the Gallipoli campaign. This detailed study of the two leaders’ term at the Admiralty draws on an extensive new analysis of the Churchill and Fisher papers held at Churchill College, Cambridge.
British Battle Planning in 1916 and the Battle of Fromelles
A Case Study of an Evolving Skill
With its high casualty count, Fromelles (19–20 July 1916) is generally considered a failure resulting from incompetent British generalship. By analysing the process of planning the battle, Lee gives a more nuanced picture of the command structure’s strengths and weaknesses.
New York and the First World War
Shaping an American City
Looking at developments in New York city’s character and identity prior to the outbreak of the First World War, and at how the war challenged and changed its politics, economics and citizens, this study demonstrates ‘the varied ways in which the conflict can be regarded as present in New York from August 1914 to its difficult denouement and remembrance’.
The Escape Artists
A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of WWI
Known as the ‘Black Hole’, Holzminden was the most infamous of the First World War prison camps that housed airmen of the Royal Flying Corps. Bascomb uses unpublished memoirs to reveal how 29 prisoners tunnelled their way out of Holzminden and dashed 150 miles to Holland, before sending a telegram to taunt the sadistic Camp Commandant and returning to Blighty for a private audience at Windsor Castle.
Postcards of the Army Service Corps 1902–1918
Coming of Age
The first decades of the 20th century saw significant modernization of the British Army. This book reproduces over 500 contemporary postcards, with detailed captions by a military expert, and shows the development of motorized transport, and the personal side of soldiers’ lives, including a group pictured with their donkey mascot, a tug-of-war and field catering facilities.
The Home Front
Derbyshire in the First World War
This history records the impact of the First World War on every aspect of life in Derbyshire. Illustrated with historic photographs, it details the recruitment drive, the role of women, anti-German feeling, the reception of Belgian refugees, Zeppelin raids, the treatment of conscientious objectors, and the deadly flu pandemic of 1918–20.
Edinburgh in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
Like other cities, Edinburgh sent men to the front, cared for war wounded and coped with profound social changes. Personal accounts, letters and newspaper reports give a sense of the experience of living in the capital during the conflict.
Scots in Great War London
A Community at Home and on the Front Line 1914–1919
Scots working in London when the First World War began were quick to join the London Scottish Regiment; many never returned. Drawing on unpublished records, these essays record the involvement of figures such as Douglas Haig and John Buchan, and discuss the moral support offered by churches, charities, clubs and associations to these men and their families during and after the conflict.
Regimental Records of the Royal Welch Fusiliers
Volume V, 1918–1945: Part One, November 1918–May 1940
The oldest military regiment in Wales, the Royal Welch Fusiliers was much reduced after the First World War. This volume of its history begins with its reorganization before describing in detail its deployments in Ireland, India, the North-West Frontier, Cyprus, Sudan, Shanghai, Gibraltar and Hong Kong between the wars, before returning to France in 1939. The descriptions are accompanied by maps and contemporary photographs and include staff lists of officers and NCOs.
The British Soldier in the First World War
This study of the ordinary British soldier of the First World War focuses on his everyday routines and the equipment, uniform and personal kit that would have been his familiar companions. Covering recruitment, training, life in the trenches and recuperation away from the front, first-hand accounts are complemented by examples of items including mess tins, Mills bombs and the YMCA stationery issued in rest camps, many assembled in historical tableaux that recreate period scenes.
Remembering 1914–18, Great War Britain
Swindon’s principal employer – the Great Western Railway – expanded its output of rolling stock during the First World War, as well as extending operations to the production of munitions. This review of the conflict’s impact on the town includes archive photographs and ephemera.
Remembering 1914–18, Great War Britain
The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was the destination for many of Lancaster’s young men in 1914. This study of the city’s experience of the war draws on regimental records as well as first-hand accounts and contemporary documents and photographs.
The Great War
Through Picture Postcards
Picture postcards were the main way that troops and their families communicated during the 1914‒18 war, and the illustrations and slogans they displayed give us insights into their lives and attitudes. The more than 500 contemporary cards in this collection come from a variety of home fronts and theatres of war around the world. They demonstrate everything from patriotic propaganda and angry satire to startling images of mass graves, proud displays of new weapons and soldiers cheerfully posing in gas masks.
The Great War at Sea
A Naval Atlas 1914–1919
Establishing control of the seas was a significant factor in eventually forcing the Central Powers to surrender in 1918. The complex struggle all over the world is traced in this naval analysis through 125 maps. Identifying the vessels involved, their courses, manoeuvres and engagements, the charts describe key operations such as the Battle of Jutland and the Dardanelles campaign as well as skirmishes, raids and U-boat activities up to the scuttling of the German fleet in 1919.
Your Country Needs You
The Secret History of the Propaganda Poster
Alfred Leete’s iconic image of Lord Kitchener pointing over the slogan ‘Your Country Needs You’ is a design classic which was widely imitated, for instance in the American designer James Montgomery Flagg’s Uncle Sam poster. James Taylor explores its influence on the propaganda posters of Allied countries in the First World War and beyond, while arguing that, since it originated as a magazine cover and postcard, its direct effect on enlistment was smaller than is commonly believed.
Eyes All Over the Sky
Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War
The fighter aces took the glory but reconnaissance flyers had perhaps the more significant role during the First World War, sighting for the artillery, following troop movements, patrolling British coastal waters for U-boats and gathering data for constantly updated maps. Drawing on the experiences of British, American and German airmen, Streckfuss examines the work of balloonists, reconnaissance pilots and aerial photographers over the Western Front and UK seas.
Makers of the Modern World: Sir Robert Borden
Canada’s Prime Minister from 1911 to 1920, Borden went to Paris convinced that the British Dominion of Canada must assume full sovereignty and, by the efforts of his delegation, the country did gain international autonomy, signing the Versailles Treaty in 1919. Slightly off-mint.
New Perspectives on the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 1915–16
The doomed Gallipoli campaign – the Allied military effort to force a passage through the Dardanelles Straits and knock Ottoman Turkey out of the war – has been controversial since the final evacuation of troops from the Peninsula in January 1916. Focusing on the MEF, this volume presents original research by more than 20 historians: Part I covers the structure of the battle; Part II discusses command and control; Part III deals with support and enablers, including British air power, nurses, chaplains and mining.
Gallantry in Action
Airmen Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Two Bars 1918–1955
The DFC was introduced as the medal for gallantry by airmen when the Royal Air Force was formed after the First World War; multiple awards are recognized with silver ribbon bars. There were sixty recipients of a second bar up to 1955 (only three have been awarded since) and this book profiles each one with a brief biography, contemporary photograph and the original citation that accompanied the award.
A Handful of Bullets
How the Murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Still Menaces the Peace
The assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in June 1914, this study argues, brought about far more than the outbreak of the First World War; it sowed the seeds of global insecurity in the 21st century, creating four new ‘horsemen of the apocalypse’: weakened states, economic insecurity, religious and political extremism, and environmental crisis. The remedies it proposes lie in fundamental political and economic reform, and a realignment of US strategic priorities.
The Last Voyage of the Lusitania
The sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat in 1915 was a historic event, not just because it was the most famous ship afloat and 1,200 people died, but because it was instrumental in bringing the United States into the war. First published in the 1950s, this analysis of the disaster draws on survivors' accounts and naval records to reconstruct the last days of the luxury liner.
To Our Brothers
Memorials to a Lost Generation in British Schools
In the years after the First World War, Britain’s public schools, in common with thousands of communities across the country, erected memorials honouring their war dead. Ranging from wooden crosses returned from makeshift graves near the battlefields to new buildings, and including panels listing the dead, stained glass windows, statues and books of remembrance, the memorials in 49 schools are surveyed in this handsome, illustrated volume, with details of each school’s way of remembering its fallen old boys and masters.
They Didn't Want to Die Virgins
Sex and Morale in the British Army on the Western Front 1914–18
Beginning with discussions of the British Army’s attitude toward sex, the soldier’s moral code, and army morale, this study looks in depth at the sexual lives of troops on the Western Front. Beyond the usual topics of venereal disease and sexual violence, Cherry explores organized prostitution, the Army’s ‘red lamp’ official brothels and fraternization with local women, always mindful that ‘the story of the soldier’s sexual life is arguably also the story of a woman’s survival strategy’.
The Battle of the Ardennes 22 August 1914
This analysis of the crucial 1914 encounters on the Western Front, collectively known as the Battle of Ardennes, encompasses both German and French viewpoints on moments of success and failure, and explores the underlying political, bureaucratic and military issues in the years before the war.
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917–1921
Women Urgently Wanted
Documenting the experiences of the WAACs who served in France, this study follows the women from enrolment to demobilization, notes the part they played in the Spring Offensive of 1918 and the Armistice, and analyses how the army, the general public and the press viewed them.
Menus, Munitions and Keeping the Peace
The Home Front Diaries of Gabrielle West 1914–1917
Gabrielle West worked variously as a Red Cross volunteer, a cook and a police officer during the First World War. Her diary entries, now part of the Imperial War Museum archives, note the discrimination she encountered as a woman in a position of responsibility, and the dangers posed by the Zeppelin raids over London. They paint a lively picture of her experience of the British Home Front and are illustrated with her drawings and family photographs.
The Lengthening War
The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode
Having lived in Germany for a time before the outbreak of the First World War, middle-aged, middle-class diarist Mabel Goode knew 'the enemy nation' as many Britons did not, which adds an extra dimension to her contemporary account of the years 1914–1916. She records enrolment, rationing, the collapse of domestic service and the growth of war work, the Zeppelin attacks over Yorkshire, the ever-mounting casualty lists and a growing disillusionment with a lengthening conflict.