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Reading in the Great War 1917–1919 (Paperback)

Local History WWI Social History Military

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 232
Illustrations: 100
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; 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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