NAME: Your Towns & Cities in the Great War, Barking and Dagenham in the Great War FILE: R2943 AUTHOR: Paul Oldfield PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 152 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War One, World War 1, World War I, WWI, First World War, The Great War, Western Front, trench warfare, land forces, Victoria Cross, Home Front, agriculture, rural towns
IMAGE: B2943.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y44zfmce LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author, a former Essex police officer, has written a nicely researched account of two Essex towns in the Great War. Fifty years on from the Great War and Barking & Dagenham would have been regarded by many as part of the London industrial sprawl and Ford Motor Co in the UK. One hundred years on and the contraction of Ford, and other factors, has created a different place, but at the time of the Great War it was a markedly different place – Very Highly Recommended The expansion of London over the last century has swallowed up villages and rural towns that once had their own rural identity. At the start of WWI, Barking had a population of 37,590, and neighbouring Dagenham had only 9,641. They had their own identities and local pride. Dagenham might be regarded as a small town and Barking as a medium size town against population averages for towns and cities. As the docks and industry spread out along the Thames towards Southend, towns like Barking and Dagenham were just absorbed into that sprawl. In Dagenham, Ford Motor Co became the dominant industrial image, but the fundamental identity of Barking and Dagenham has changed much less since the 1930s than in the period of the Great War. The author has written an engaging account that provides the flavour of the times in addition to the facts. There are human stories and good illustration through the body of the text. The men of Barking and Dagenham flocked to the colours and the final death toll was heavy but not as heavy as that hitting many communities. Roughly a third of the men from the area died during the war when some areas suffered more than 80% casualties and were blighted by the losses. One of the interesting facts included by the author is the memorial which records not only the dead but also lists those who served and survived.