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Bristol in the Great War (Paperback)

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

By Jacqueline Wadsworth
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Your Towns & Cities in the Great War
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781783036356
Published: 2nd September 2014


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When war was declared in 1914 the people of Bristol erupted in patriotic excitement - but what was it like when the cheering died down?

This book tells the city's unique story during those grinding years, when women risked their lives filling shells with mustard gas, factories turned out chocolate and cigarettes for the troops, Shirehampton's fields were full of war horses, and Filton's nascent aeroplane industry took off. Also described are the lives of the women who waited at home for news of their men at the Front, the long shop queues and blackouts, the bone-shaking military vehicles that rumbled past their homes, and the kindness shown to the traumatized refugees from Belgium.

Jacqueline Wadsworth's extensive research brings Bristol's story to life using contemporary accounts and high-quality photographs, many of which have never been published before.

As seen in The Bristol Post, Western Daily Press and Gazette Series.

Used as source for article 'Football, coal and the railways - the forces that have shaped Ashton Vale'

South Bristol Voice, 1st June 2018

'Meticulously researched, this engaging book brings home the reality of the First World War in our local area. Richly illustrated by photograph, documents from the archives and newspaper cuttings, Bristol in the Great War evokes a strong personal reaction on seeing familiar locations... in the context of such an important period of our history. Jacqueline's accessible writing style brings the experience of our ancestors into sharp focus...'

Thornbury Library Newsletter

Jacqueline's research brings Bristol's story to life using contemporary accounts and high-quality photographs, many of which have never been published before.

Bristol Post

Bristol's story has been preserved by the author's skilful use of anecdote, personal accounts and local history, set against a background of military events. Not only has this era been recaptured, but with the many illustrations it will be recognised by the city's current inhabitants.

Army Review Service

Meticulously researched account of Bristol's part in WW1, and especially good on the role of women.

Bristol Times

A very enjoyable and interesting read, well written with excellent photographic documentation. One could recognise the various parts of Bristol and understand the impact the war had on the people and the environment.

Norman Taylor, Thornbury U3A Family History Group

A very real, no-holds-barred picture of an awful era...Peppered with references to city landmarks and local families, it's an engrossing read.

Bristol Post's Weekend Magazine

As featured on BBC Radio Bristol.

BBC Radio Bristol

As featured on Bradley Stoke Radio.

Bradley Stoke Radio

The book has more than 100 illustrations and tells the story of how ordinary folk coped during extraordinary times. Many did so with humour and optimism, which means that the book is far from a grim read.

Thornbury Gazette Magazine

The strength of this book is largely in the range of eye-witness accounts and family stories which support the historical narrative of the war and the changes that Bristol saw during this period. Some of the pictures are a far cry from conflict, for example, a women's sports day, allotmenteers, peaceful swans on Eastville Lake and wounded soldiers having 'light-hearted' moments at Bristol Zoo.

B&A FHS Journal No. 157
 Jacqueline Wadsworth

About Jacqueline Wadsworth

Jacqueline Wadsworth graduated from King's College, London, with a degree in Geography, and worked for several years as a newspaper journalist, punctuated by spells of backpacking abroad. She is now a freelance writer, specialising in history and sport. When not at her desk she is a keen runner, cyclist, follower of Liverpool FC, fan of American roots music, and supporter of The Donkey Sanctuary. You can check out her blog at


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