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Reading in the Great War 1914-1916 (Kindle)

WWI Towns & Cities in the Great War 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 Military

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Your Towns & Cities in the Great War
File Size: 58.4 MB (.mobi)
This file exceeds the Kindle Cloud 50 MB size limit
Pages: 264
Illustrations: 75
ISBN: 9781473865884
eBook Released: 23rd March 2016

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How the experience of war impacted on the town, from the initial enthusiasm for sorting out the German kaiser in time for Christmas 1914, to the gradual realization of the enormity of human sacrifice the families of Reading were committed to as the war stretched out over the next four years. A record of the growing disillusion of the people, their tragedies and hardships and a determination to see it through.

Reading's experiences during the Great War can be taken as standing for the many smaller but important towns in the country whose story will never be told. However, being a county town it experienced both industrial and agrarian pressures that deeply affected its population. Initially enthusiastic about the war, recruitment soon dropped and the local regiment filled with men from the big cities. By 1916 most of the eligible men were keen to find ways to stay out of the army. In the centre of the town was the infamous Reading jail – home to Irish dissidents, terrorists and POWs. On the surface it was a calm town that got on with its business: beer, biscuits, metalwork, seeds and armaments but its poverty impacted on industrial relations leading to strikes. It also had a darker side with child cruelty and death, especially suicide.

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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; an interest ignited by his paternal grandfather’s refusal to talk about his experiences at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He is a prolific author whose books includes works on the British and German Army, the Home Front and Great War badges; this is volume three of the badges of the British Army in the Great War. Since he started writing he has contributed to television and radio programmes, appeared on Country File and Look North, and given talks on his work.

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