All Quiet on the Home Front
An Oral History of Life in Britain During the First World War
First published in 2003, this oral history used interviews with 100 people then in their late nineties, who had lived through the First World War, not as combatants, but as children and young adults on the home front. Their words, along with letters, diary entries and the authors’ linking narrative, offer an unusual view of the war, from fears of the Kaiser’s ambition in the years before its outbreak, to the jubilation, readjustment and mourning following the Armistice.
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 Story of Civilian Volunteers in the First World War
The scale of support given by volunteers and charities during the First World War to troops, prisoners of war, refugees and the wounded is often overlooked. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children (but mainly women) from all backgrounds devoted time and energy to fundraising and practical help, many risking their lives on the front line. This history of their efforts, which involved the making and packaging of ‘comforts’, nursing, driving ambulances and entertaining, acknowledges their compassion and generosity.
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.
The workforce of 423 employed by Swindon Works in 1843 grew to 14,000 by the early 20th century and the centre earned an enviable reputation by developing its own methods and inspiring a sense of community. This history of the GWR institution features the first-hand accounts of former employees, and provides detailed facts and figures including lists of locomotives and pay grades, and a lexicon of specialist language.
A Brief History of the Age of Steam
The Power that Drove the Industrial Revolution
For over two centuries from its first development in 1710, steam technology was behind a revolution which swept the world. Exploring the contribution of such figures as Stephenson and Brunel, this book traces the development of steam locomotion from the first Mississippi steamboats to the Titanic, and from the first London terminus at Euston to the Trans-Siberian Railway.
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.
Early Victorian Railway Excursions
The Million Go Forth
The first railway entrepreneurs considered that their real business would be in freight, the tremendous demand for passenger travel coming as something of a surprise. This well-researched history challenges the traditional notion of rail travel as a middle-class activity in the first decades of steam, exploring the cheap excursions that were promoted to the working classes by enterprising tour operators and railway companies, and revealing the appalling conditions, often in open carriages, that the day trippers had to endure.
The Huns Have Got My Gramophone!
Advertisements from the Great War
Extolling the virtues of motorcycles for ‘lady war workers’ and ‘absolutely waterproof’ trench coats for soldiers, the advertisements collected and discussed here illustrate how the First World War offered companies new commercial opportunities and fundamentally changed British society.
Peace and War:
Britain in 1914
This discerning cultural history presents a portrait of a nation on the eve of war. While it details the social and political issues of the day, including the Ulster crisis, suffragettes, labour disputes and the anxiety of approaching war, it also highlights the nascent modernism of contemporary artists and poets, including Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, who anticipated the end of the Edwardian era and the ‘cosy certainties’ that belied the social conflicts of a troubled Britain.
Voices from the Past
In the full knowledge that hostilities would end at 11am, some units were still sent into battle on the morning of 11th November 1918, and some soldiers were reportedly keen to fire the very last shots. From the first attempts to negotiate a peace to the final battles and the moment of ceasefire itself, this book tells the story of the conclusion of the First World War through contemporary newspaper reports and the words of politicians, military leaders and ordinary soldiers.
Women's Factory Work in World War One
The appointment of two influential women from the Women's Factory Inspectorate to the Women's War Work Subcommittee during the First World War led to a commission to create a photographic documentary archive of women working in factories across Britain. GR Griffiths examines that project and presents a selection from the thousands of images that covered 19 industries and recorded the working conditions of the women and the industrial processes in which they were engaged.
Voices of the First World War
A crucially important port during the First World War, the city of Liverpool also reflected the domestic political problems of the day with industrial unrest and Irish home rule both pertinent topics for the large working class and Irish populations. Through letters and diaries, this book highlights the experiences and attitudes of people living and working in the city during the period as well as Merseysiders serving abroad.
A First World War Nurse Tells Her Story
Dorothea Crewdson (1886–1918), a newly trained Red Cross nurse, left for Le Treport in northern France in April 1915. She was to spend nearly four years in France, working in three hospitals and witnessing some of the worst horror of the First World War, yet somehow maintaining her optimism. Dorothea's diaries from those years are a testimony to her indomitable high spirits and offer a rare, intimate glimpse of the heroic work of First World War nurses.
Lingo of No Man's Land
A World War I Slang Dictionary
'Gun fire – a term referring to morning tea.' Compiled by a Canadian soldier in 1918, this dictionary of First World War vocabulary ranges from dry officialese ('intense bombardment') to Tommies' vivid slang ('Boche', 'Blighty' and 'over the top'). While some of the terms are now forgotten, many have become so much part of the language that it seems surprising that they ever required explanation: camouflage, crater, grenade and reconnaissance, to name but a few.
Britain's Great War Experience
Life at Home and Abroad 1914–1918
Beyond the horrors of the Western Front, the First World War sent Britons to the far corners of the globe and affected all aspects of life on the home front. This portfolio of contemporary photographs, documents, letters and ephemera (first published as The Worst Ordeal in 1994) takes the broadest view of the conflict – from the experiences of soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families to dealing with strikes, volunteer work, rationing, conscientious objectors and the Irish rebellion at home.
The Home Front in the Great War
Aspects of the Conflict 1914–1918
The Great War was the first to have a deep impact on every aspect of civilian life. This book, originally published in 2003, examines its effects on society at home, from recruitment to rationing and from Zeppelin raids to propaganda. Drawing on personal accounts and articles in newspapers and magazines, and extensively illustrated with period photographs, it explores the war's effects on industry, employment, labour relations, the press, the class system and the role of women.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.
The Carriage and Wagon Works of the GWR at Swindon
The GWR Swindon Works produced some of the iconic locomotives of the steam era, but its rolling stock - the all-important freight wagons and passenger cars - have received less attention from steam enthusiasts and historians. This study tells the story of the other half of the GWR Works, traces the development of carriage and wagon design and, with the help of archive photographs, explains how carriages and wagons were built at Swindon in its heyday.
Hold on Tight
London Transport and the Unions
Playing a crucial role in building one of the world's best transport systems, London's bus, tram, rail and Underground workers have fought hard to improve working conditions over the years. This book studies workforce and management relations from the late 19th to the 21st century.