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Bridgnorth in the Great War (Paperback)

Local History WWI Towns & Cities in the Great War 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 Military

By Christopher W A Owen
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Towns & Cities in the Great War
Pages: 140
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781783831173
Published: 16th October 2019

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World-famous Bridgnorth town is situated on the river Severn near Kidderminster and is a very popular anglers' haunt and tourist destination. Within the shadow of its very own Civil War-ravaged castle lies a unique funicular rail system and the north-western terminus of the famous Severn Valley heritage railway line.

Although steeped in military history, much of its Great War social history has remained obscure until now. This enthralling account explores many surprising and unknown facts about Bridgnorth and its wartime Home Front, drawing on a wealth of material from diverse primary sources, including official news reports that disclose the fullest picture of the terrible sacrifices the serving men, their relatives and also their townsfolk made to Britain's war effort.

Misled by government propaganda, which implied that the men were enlisting for a short-term adventurous romp, this little town patriotically sacrificed the flower of a generation to the largely trench-bound bloody morass the Great War became. Their commitment and fortitude gives testament to the incredible bravery of the people of Bridgnorth, and their losses are evidenced in the various commemorative monuments erected throughout the town and in surrounding hamlets.

Utilizing contemporary documents and wartime servicemen's poignant letters, some of which are disclosed for the first time, Bridgnorth in the Great War reveals how this once prosperous and industrious West Midlands' town endured the greatest sacrifice of its manhood to this cataclysmic event, which was fancifully dubbed 'the war to end all wars'.

As featured by

The Great War magazine, January 2020

This series, which saw the light in the centenary of the Great War and which continues to grow, is an interesting look at the life of small and large communities in the Great War. A look that deserves to be rediscovered because analyzing the impact of the deaths of so many young people especially on small communities you can have a sense of the destruction brought about by that conflict, much more than reading the cold stories of tactics and military strategy. Numbers become names and lives, and broken dreams. I deeply appreciate the effort of the authors and the Pen & Sword publishing house to return these precious testimonies.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

Article: 'Book will weave the stories of town's war' as featured by

Express & Star, 7th November 2019 – words by Rory Smith

Article: 'Tales of town during First World War told in new book' as featured by

Bridgnorth Journal, 7th November 2019
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