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Call to Arms - Over By Christmas (Paperback)

Outbreak of War

WWI Social History Home Front in WWI 1914

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: The Great War Illustrated
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781473833722
Published: 4th February 2016

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For many years the Home Front was the Cinderella of the Great War. However, in recent years it has been acknowledged for the essential part it played in the successful prosecution of the war for the Allies. The same factors were at play in each of the warring states, but each reacted in its own ways to the demands.

This book builds upon The Home Front in the Great War, published in 2003, providing a fully illustrated account of every aspect of the civilian war. Much of it based around the experiences of two completely different places, Hull and Reading, showing that the experience of war was equally as hard and banal for both. The illustrations are usefully grouped into themes allowing the reader to compare life in different countries. A wealth of material is also included from across the United Kingdom, making this a book that will be of national interest.

Much of the material included has not been seen since it was first published almost 100 years ago, and many of the photographs have never been in print in this country, and some anywhere before. Also included are a selection of short articles from local papers, that show exactly what the general population was feeling and experiencing during the troubled years of the Great War.

What makes this book unique is that it is not only a home front history of Britain, but also a history of the warring nations and the neutral countries affected.

“Call to Arms” is profusely illustrated with photographs, artwork, ephemera, illustrations, cartoons, newspaper clippings and advertisements to show how life was seen through the eyes of those not in the military frontline. It ends with a day by day chronology of 1914, a bibliography and a good index.

Read the full review here.

The Western Front Association, Dr. Giovanni Timmermans

he photographs are truly amazing and David Bilton’s text is superb, just right. It concentrates on the civilian side of the war, humanizing it in a way that text alone could not do. The illustrations have been gathered together into various themes and it really gives the reader an insight into life during the war in the various countries depicted.

A book that would appeal to a wide audience

Destructive Music

As reviewed on ARRSE

ARRSE - MoleBath

One thinks of the Home Front mainly in terms of the Second World War, but David Bilton's memoir reminds us that there was an equally important home front associated with the first war, and with a series of unique photos, many never before pubised, he sets about telling us their story. Remarkable.

Books Monthly, May 2016 - Paul Norman

As reviewed in

Local Buzz Magazine
 David Bilton

About David Bilton

David Bilton is a retired teacher who spends his time looking after his family, working as a University lecturer and researching the Great War. He is the prolific author of numerous books about the British Army, the Home Front and the German Army. His first book, The Hull Pals, became the BBC 2 series The Trench. Since he started writing he has contributed to many television and radio programmes. His interest in the Great War was ignited by his grandfather's refusal to talk about his experiences in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

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