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Keeping the Home Fires Burning (Hardback)

Entertaining the Troops at Home and Abroad During the Great War

WWI British History P&S History Home Front in WWI 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 20th Century

By Phil Carradice
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 40 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399004411
Published: 14th January 2022


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Keeping the Home Fires Burning tells the story of how the troops and the general public were kept happy and content during the First World War. Between 1914 and 1918 there was entertainment of the masses for the sole purpose of promotion of the war effort. It was the first time that a concerted effort to raise and sustain morale was ever made by any British government and was a combination of government sponsored ideas and lucky happenstance. It was all picked up and used by the new Propaganda Ministry.

The range of activities was wide and varied, from poetry to cinema, from music hall singers and artists to the creation of battlefield heroes. There was postcard humour and deliberate veneration of philanthropists - and war participants - like Woodbine Willie.

The theme of Keeping the Home Fires Burning is backed up by 40 illustrations from the time, including participants, posters, battlefield views and so on.

The thrust of this book is to relay the story of how troops and the wider public, were kept content and at east during World War. The focus is on the entertainment of the population during the Great War, with emphasis on the importance of morale. The topics covered bring to the fore a new and exciting focus of the Great War. Key coverage there in includes the likes of enlistment propaganda, Music Halls and Home entertainment, The Church, as well as the use of art, advertising and promotion of products and so on.

Jon Sandison

Review as featured in

Who Do You Think You Are

This book written by Phil Carradice is an easy but entertaining read, but it seems well researched and documented. I have always enjoyed books by Carradice, as you kind of always guaranteed a good read. I also enjoyed the notes section and bibliography and will be reading further books that have been listed. This book should be recommended as it does look at an important part of the war that doesn’t get enough recognition.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

A brilliant account of the entertainment industry that was specifically geared up and enhanced for the purposes of keeping the public and the military entertained as the first world war started to have an impact. Phil Carradice is one of my favourite P&S authors.

Books Monthly

As featured in: 'Not everyone on the frontline was a fan of Ivor Novello's famous songs'

South Wales Echo (Cardiff)

About Phil Carradice

Phil Carradice is a poet, novelist and historian who has published over 80 books. The most recent of these publications are 'Hitler and His Women' and 'A Hundred Years of Spying' (both for Pen & Sword. He broadcasts regularly on TV and radio, presents the BBC Radio Wales programme The Past Master. He is a renowned teacher and tutor of creative writing.

Perfect Partner

All Quiet on the Home Front (Paperback)

The truth about the sacrifice and suffering on the home front during World War I is rarely discussed. In this book, some of the oldest men and women in the country speak about experiences and events that have remained buried for 85 years. Their testimony shows the same candour and courage we have become accustomed to hearing from veterans of the western front. Those interviewed include a survivor of a Zeppelin raid on Hull in 1915, a Welsh munitions worker recruited as a girl, and a woman rescued from a bombed school after five days. There are also accounts of rural famine, bereavement and the…

By Steve Humphries, Richard van Emden

Click here to buy both titles for £23.09
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