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Ironbridge in the Great War (Paperback)

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

By Christopher W A Owen
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Towns & Cities in the Great War
Pages: 151
ISBN: 9781783464005
Published: 24th July 2018



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Famed as the birthplace of modern industry and the first cast iron metal single span bridge, Ironbridge is venerated the world over yet its social history is at times unfamiliar.

One hundred years ago this sleepy town, set by the river Severn, willingly volunteered its life-blood to a war that everyone confidently believed would be a short-lived, adventurous romp. Misled by government propaganda, they soon discovered through fighting relative's letters and various official news reports, many of which are unearthed for the first time throughout this book, that it had rapidly degenerated into an endless morass of bloody violence with the probability of their men meeting a painful death on a daily basis thrown in for good measure.

The town's wartime heritage is one of enterprise and hard work as the majority of the Great War gun-fodder comprised working-class men drawn from prestigious local companies. Maw & Co, the world-famous ceramic tile maker, raised its own company of enlisted fighting men, in common with other businesses nationwide, that were known as Pals Battalions. As in most instances across the land, it subsequently paid a heavy price for this mass act of patriotism. Ironbridge also became a cradle of the fledgling women's wartime workforce, who helped produce vital heavy munitions components at another famous local company's works.

Ironbridge in the Great War is the story of the town's great sacrifice, as evidenced by the numerous and diverse war monuments that populate the town and its surrounding hamlets. This is detailed work that includes fascinating facts about the town, which, despite being constantly under the world spotlight, remained, until now, a part of its hidden wartime social history.

Article: 'Shropshire heir whose body was recovered' as featured by

Mid Wales Journal & South Shropshire Journal, 7th September 2018

He [Christopher W A Owen] has put people at the heart of his book, which includes stories of many who served, and many who died. He sets the local scene against the backdrop of the wider context of events on the national stage and the battlefield. Of particular value to family historians is an alphabetical list of the Great War casualties of the Ironbridge area.

Shropshire Star, 14th September 2018 - review by John Mountford

Article: 'Shropshire heir whose body was recovered' as featured by

Bridgnorth Journal, 30th August 2018

Article: 'Uncle pulled strings to bring back heir's body from foreign battlefield'

Express & Star and Shropshire Star, 18th August 2018 - words by Toby Neal
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