Book Review – The Home Front in the Great War, Aspects of the Conflict 1914-1918

 

HomeFrontWWI

This book is filled with a most interesting collection of photographs and drawings throughout the 
body of the book. They add greatly to the story which includes many personal reflections from 
those who lived through those days. The author has worked skilfully through all of the aspects 
of life on the Home Front. He conveys the sense of engagement where civilians identified 
themselves as part of the battle lines.

In charting the progress at home, the social changes can be graphically seen. As more and 
more men went off to fight, many never to return, women became involved in a range of 
jobs that had previously not been available to them. They earned money, sometimes very 
good money, when previously many had been entirely dependent on male relatives. They 
also experiences enemy fire with the terror bombing raids by airships and the bombardment 
of civilian targets ashore by German warships.
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NAME: The Home Front in the Great War, Aspects of the Conflict 1914-1918
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 220414
FILE: R1955
AUTHOR: David Bilton
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 194
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Social change, WWI, World War One, First World War, The Great War, the 
war to end all wars, 1914-1918, civilians, social order, rationing, bombing, Zeppelins, shore 
bombardment, female workers, industry, munitions production
ISBN: 1-78346-177-2
IMAGE: B1955.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/l5ycw3o
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: It is very easy to think of war as unchanging in its primary elements, 
or to see past conflicts through modern eyes. In both views, this distorts the realities of 
past conflicts. In 1914, Great Britain was head of a global Empire at the height of its 
power, and a Christian society that had developed a unique democracy and a sense of 
order and class. In most aspects, it could not be further from the society of Britain in 
the first decades of the Twenty First Century. This book very ably sets out the Edwardian 
society that went to war as a complete nation, loyally supported by the peoples across the 
Empire and the major changes to that society produced by total war.

The Germans were taken by surprise at the effective and determined resistant the 
'Contemptible' Army put up to halt the speedy advance of German troop into France at 
the start of WWI. The core of the Expeditionary Force, that was rushed across the 
Channel when the Germans swept into neutral Belgium, was a well-equipped and trained 
professional army, but throughout, it was imbued with Edwardian values and pride. 
When the Germans first experienced the use of bolt action Lee Enfield rifles in the hands 
of well-trained troops, they though they were coming under machine gun fire. Through 
the conflict, the morale and ability of the British soldier changed little even though the 
terrible rate of attrition in trench warfare require a continuing flow of fresh young men 
straight from school. This was possible because the nation stood square behind the 
troops and any man in civilian clothes was frequently treated as a coward and traitor for 
not joining the British forces.

This book is filled with a most interesting collection of photographs and drawings 
throughout the body of the book. They add greatly to the story which includes many 
personal reflections from those who lived through those days. The author has worked 
skilfully through all of the aspects of life on the Home Front. He conveys the sense of 
engagement where civilians identified themselves as part of the battle lines.

In charting the progress at home, the social changes can be graphically seen. As more 
and more men went off to fight, many never to return, women became involved in a 
range of jobs that had previously not been available to them. They earned money, 
sometimes very good money, when previousy many had been entirely dependent on 
male relatives. They also experiences enemy fire with the terror bombing raids by 
airships and the bombardment of civilian targets ashore by German warships.

By the end of the conflict, society had dramatically changed. Most families were 
touched by war, entire male communities died in the trenches in Pals Battalions and 
many women continued in jobs that had no returning men to fill them. All of the 
certainties of Edwardian society in 1914 had changed by the end of war in 1918.