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Brentwood in the Great War (Paperback)

WWI Military

By Stephen Wynn
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781473822191
Published: 6th October 2016

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Brentwood in the Great War tells the remarkable story of Brentwood and its surrounding areas from the outbreak of the Great War, to the long-awaited the peace of 1918.

The presence of war was never far away from Brentwood, which had its fair share of military hospitals during the Great War. Forty-three local graves commemorate the young soldiers who were patients of nearby Waverly Barracks' hospital but died from their war wounds. At least eighteen other war memorials and rolls of honour dotted around the district highlight just how important village life and a parish existence were back then, when on a Sunday everybody dressed up and went to church. From each of these locations, the individual stories of some of the men who paid the ultimate sacrifice for King and country are closely looked at to outline the sacrifices they made and why.

As the war progressed, local Military Tribunals became more and more utilized. Here, young men could attempt to obtain a certificate of exemption from military service. Some of the men were conscientious objectors; some were genuine, whose families would be met with hardship if their men left to fight overseas; some worked in munitions factories and were already doing their bit for the war effort; and others simply just didn't want to fight.

Unique primary resources provide a true picture of what life was like in wartime Brentwood, as the town is looked a through the eyes of the local press. The book reveals a strange combination, of people deeply affected by wartime restrictions and their relentless struggle to achieve the normality of everyday life amongst the madness that was unfolding around them.

The author is to be congratulated for a lot of hard work in pulling together as much as he has done to create this book. There will be new stories here for many people, and this will still be a good book to dip in and out of over the Christmas period.

Find my Past

About Stephen Wynn

Stephen is a retired police officer having served with Essex Police as a constable for thirty years between 1983 and 2013. He is married to Tanya and has two sons, Luke and Ross, and a daughter, Aimee. His sons served five tours of Afghanistan between 2008 and 2013 and both were injured. This led to the publication of his first book, Two Sons in a Warzone – Afghanistan: The True Story of a Father’s Conflict, published in October 2010. Both Stephen’s grandfathers served in and survived the First World War, one with the Royal Irish Rifles, the other in the Mercantile Marine, whilst his father was a member of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during the Second World War.


When not writing Stephen can be found walking his three German Shepherd dogs with his wife Tanya, at some unearthly time of the morning, when most normal people are still fast asleep.

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