WASHINGTON IN THE GREAT WAR is a glance at what was happening to the people of Washington, Harraton and Usworth during the Great War years. What was happening to the men was pretty clear – they were joining fighting regiments and they were getting killed. Death and disaster was not unusual in pit villages so they had experience in coping… but this was on an undreamed of scale. For example, twenty five per cent of men from Harraton Parish who joined the army were killed, as compared with a national figure of around eight per cent. Some stories of those who gave 'the last full measure of devotion' are to be found in these pages.
For those at home; those who knitted, rolled bandages, picked blackberries, collected eggs, had time to write to the papers, worried about the effect of the Belgians on local morality, went on strike, sold sweets at unlawful prices, devised recipes, tried to implement the idea of homes for heroes, searched for sufficient scavengers, got arrested for abusing sentries on the bridge, took portrait photographs of the newly enlisted men, hassled pork butchers of German extraction, appealed against military service, became Munitionettes, played in charity football matches, swallowed Dr Cassell's pills, chewed Dainty Dinah toffee, offered their land for war memorials, tended their allotments, failed to catch fish in the Wear, died of influenza – well, their stories are here too.
Containing over seventy period black and white photographs, as well as modern-day equivalents, and chapters sorted chronologically detailing the area before, during and after the war, this book is highly recommended for social and military historians alike.
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