The publisher produces a number of fine series that provide valuable insights into history. The sad part of reviewing books is that time restricts the number of books that can be read and reviewed. As a result, the FIRE Project review team has not been able to review all of the titles in the local histories of WWI, taking only snapshots of the series. This new title is a delight and representative of the high standard achieved by the series. The text is built on thorough research and is very ably supported by a host of illustration – Very Highly Recommended.
NAME: Your Towns & Cities in the Great War, Norfolk Coast in the Great War, King's Lynn, Hunstanton, Sheringham, Cromer & Great Yarmouth FILE: R2570 AUTHOR: Stephen Browning PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 224 PRICE: £12.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: England, Great Britain, East Coast, Norfolk, WWI, The Great War, World War1, World War I, First World War, fishing villages, coastal towns ISBN: 1-47384-877-8 IMAGE: B2570.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ydz7gcwt LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The publisher produces a number of fine series that provide valuable insights into history. The sad part of reviewing books is that time restricts the number of books that can be read and reviewed. As a result, the FIRE Project review team has not been able to review all of the titles in the local histories of WWI, taking only snapshots of the series. This new title is a delight and representative of the high standard achieved by the series. The text is built on thorough research and is very ably supported by a host of illustration – Very Highly Recommended. The title suggests that the history is restricted to a handful of coastal towns and villages. The author has done more than that by including some coverage of the inland areas, including the aircraft factory on Mousehold Heath, Norwich, that produced many of the famous Sopwith fighter designs that made such a contribution to the progress of the air war. Norfolk is an interesting and at times strange part of the British Isles. It has been inhabited from the earliest times when a land bridge existed between the British Isles and Europe. It has long been a dependable area of agricultural production and for several centuries responsible for much of the wealth production of England, when wool was a valuable and profitable resource. At the same time, it attracted textile workers from the Low Countries and Worsted cloth is one famous product of Norfolk. It was also to be at the heart of the Agricultural Revolution that preceded and assisted the Industrial Revolution. For the factories to be built and staffed, the work force would be drawn from the countryside, but the demand for food and materials from the agricultural areas would increase. That made the Agricultural Revolution a critical precursor. Norfolk saw the introduction of the Four Course Rotation system that increased the fertility of the land, to increase the tonnage of crops. The new agricultural machines began a process that continues today, with progressively larger and more sophisticated machines allowing farm land to be managed by a shrinking number of people and still produce even greater tonnages of crops. In Medieval times, Norwich was not just the capital of Norfolk, but the second city of England. Great Yarmouth grew wealthy on the back of wool production, exacting a heavy toll on all produce that passed through its port. King's Lynn was a vibrant trading port that was the entry into the English markets for the Hanseatic League, having very strong trading relationships with Scandinavia and the Baltic. The coastal fringe of Norfolk comprised many successful fishing villages and ports. The most noticeable change to Norfolk was not to come until after WWII as the further mechanisation saw the dramatic changes in average farm size where the typical farm of pre-1945, of less than 50 acres, rapidly grew to averages of more than 3,000 acres, further depopulating the countryside. Even so, this book provides views of Norfolk that are remarkably unchanged today. Most villages and towns have grown but there is much remaining of the WWI appearances and the way of life. Norfolk has always made a strong contribution to English, and then to British, interests in time of war. It has produced many soldiers and sailors, with Nelson as its most famous naval son, brought up on the North Norfolk coast. Great Yarmouth has been an important port and Nelson victualled his ships there before the cruise that culminated in his greatest victory at Trafalgar. However, WWI was to affect Norfolk more than any war in its long history. Shore bombardment by German warships and terror bombing by German airships brought the conflict very directly to the coastal towns of Norfolk. The population was mobilized in a way never before attempted and the loss of fine young men to war, particularly in the trenches of the Western Front, meant many empty places in the post-war Norfolk homes. This is a delightful book and one that can be walked. The reader can start at King's Lynn and walk in stages round to Great Yarmouth. It is an interesting landscape with wide skies and variety.