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Oxford in the Great War (Paperback)

Military WWI World History > UK & Ireland > Towns & Cities in the Great War

By Malcolm Graham
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Your Towns & Cities in The Great War
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781783462971
Published: 3rd November 2014



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This book tells the fascinating, and largely forgotten, story of Oxford's part in the Great War. The University City became a military training camp as soldiers and officer cadets occupied men's colleges left virtually empty as undergraduates enlisted. Public buildings were converted into military hospitals where many war casualties were treated. The City also took in Belgian and Serbian refugees.
Oxford dons engaged in vital war work, and academic life largely depended upon the women's colleges. Local industries, including Morris's new car factory at Cowley, converted to war production, and women made munitions or replaced men in other work.

Fear of invasion sparked the formation of a Dad's Army, and a black-out protected the City from air raids. Civilians, especially women, supported the war effort through fund-raising and voluntary work. They also cultivated war allotments as food shortages led to communal kitchens and rationing.

This expert account shows a civilian population coping with anxiety during a titanic struggle in which college heads and the humblest citizens were afflicted equally by the loss of loved ones.

As features in

Limited Edition Oxfordshire

[Malcolm Graham's] new book, filled with poignant black-and-white pictures, certainly now stands out as a fitting way to commemorate the sacrifice a century on.

The Oxford Times

Popular historian Malcolm Graham has produced what promises to be one of the best local history books of the year, Oxford in the Great War, describing how the city became a military training camp, with public buildings converted into military hospitals. He has collected dozens of photographs showing how local industries, including Morris's new car factory at Cowley, converted to war production, and women made munitions or replaced men in other work.

Oxfordshire Limited Edition

As featured on BBC Radio Oxford.

BBC Radio Oxford

As well as focusing on the bravery of troops from the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Mr Graham's book also highlights the war effort in Oxford itself, and the important role played by women.

The Oxford Times

County historian Malcolm Graham has revealed in his new book how the city of Oxford was transformed during the Great War. His book gives the impression of an Oxford completely transformed by the war, with university, colleges and other public buildings turned into makeshift hospitals and thousands of war casualties brought in by train to be treated here. As the former head of the Oxfordshire Studies Centre, Mr Graham knew where the best photos were kept, showing Oxford during the war years. These included evocative images of Oxford volunteers on parade...There are also stunning images from the frontline.

This is Oxfordshire

As seen in the Bicester Advertiser.

Bicester Advertiser

As featured in Banbury Cake.

Banbury Cake

As seen in the Oxford Mail.

Oxford Mail
 Malcolm Graham

About Malcolm Graham

Local historian Malcolm Graham was Head of Oxfordshire Studies with Oxfordshire County Council until he retired in 2008. His many publications on the local history of Oxford and Oxfordshire have included an account of the County during the Second World War, and he has a vast knowledge of Oxford in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is married, and lives in Botley, near Oxford.

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