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Reading in the Great War 1917–1919 (Paperback)

Local History WWI Social History

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9781473854277
Published: 1st August 2016

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Reading in the Great War 1917-1919 looks at life in an important industrial and agricultural town in the south of England. The book charts the changes that occurred in ordinary people's lives, some caused by the war, some of their own doing.
On the surface, Reading 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 was also a God-fearing, hard-working and sober town. However, underneath it had a darker side, all of it exposed in this book: drunkenness, desertion, suicide, child abuse, murder, double murder and underage sex; it was all there, happening when eyes were not watching.
This is a book about human relationships: to each other and the outside world, warts and all. It is a telling account of the human tragedies and triumphs of a nation at war and the day-to-day preoccupations of community attempting to find normality in a reality so far removed from anything they had ever known. Including over 100 unique and rarely seen illustrations and expertly written by a prolific author, this is an enriching read for anybody wishing take a glimpse beneath the surface of life on Reading's Home Front.

As featured on.

BBC News
 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. He is the prolific author of numerous books about the British Army, the Home Front and the German Army. His first book, The Hull Pals, became the BBC 2 series The Trench. Since he started writing he has contributed to many television and radio programmes. His interest in the Great War was ignited by his grandfather's refusal to talk about his experiences in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

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