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Poole in the Great War (Paperback)

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

By Stephen Wynn
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Towns & Cities in the Great War
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781473835191
Published: 1st July 2019



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On 13 August, with the war only a matter of days old, the German cargo vessel, Herbert Fischer, was on its way from Russia to deliver timber to J T Sydenhams in Poole. It was challenged and stopped by Royal Naval vessels in the English Channel, but somewhat remarkably, it was allowed to continue its journey into Poole harbour where it unloaded its timber. Fortunately, no harm was done, by the crew or its cargo, as both were what they purported to be. Less than a week later Pool harbour was in the news again, as night time restrictions were placed on the town's fishing fleet to stop them from venturing outside of the harbour due to the potential danger of attack from German naval vessels.

By the end of 1914, a number of temporary hospitals had sprung up all over the Poole area, as was in keeping with the rest of the country. These included, The Lodge, The Mount and Springfield Auxiliary Hospitals, all of which were for officers only. In addition to these there was also the Sandacres Private Hospital for officers in Parkstone.

A recruitment meeting took place at the Drill Hall at Upper Parkstone on 19 February 1915. To encourage men to attend, arrangements were made for local brass bands to play and make their way to the Drill Hall from different parts of the town.

In Knight & Co, which was located in Hill Street, Poole, the town had its very own munitions factory, which employed more and more women the longer the war continued, as more and more men were called up.

The book also looks at men from the town who went off to fight in the war, and those who never made it back home to their loved ones. It also looks at the towns women, many of whom carried out Voluntary work such as working for the VAD, whilst bringing up young children and tending to their homes.

A real feeling of the sacrifice which many people from Poole made during the course of the First World War, becomes quite apparent across the pages of this very informative book.

I spent a brilliant fortnight's holiday in Poole in 1976, the first of the modern day long hot summers, and a time when the millionaires had so far not descended on and ruined it. This brilliant book by Stephen Wynn looks at how the residents of Poole coped during the long years of the first world war. The photographs of the town are brilliant, and the individual histories of the notable people and businesses in the town are fascinating. The residents of Poole are well served in Stephen's book.

Books Monthly

This addition, to what has become a very popular series, looks at Poole during the Great War. The publishers have developed a very strong following for this series where locals naturally have an interest in their town or city, but where the series is proving very attractive to military history enthusiasts and historians – Very Highly Recommended

Read the full review here


Featured in

Great War July 2019

About Stephen Wynn

Stephen Wynn is a retired police officer having served with Essex Police for thirty years. His first book, Two Sons a in War Zone: Afghanistan: The True Story of a Fathers Conflict, was published in 2010. It is his personal account of his sons' first tours in Afghanistan. He had a grandparent who served in and survived the First World War.

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