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The Great War Illustrated - The Home Front (Paperback)

Seeing It Through - Arras and Passchendaele

Military Photographic Books WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Passchendaele WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Ypres WWI > Home Front WWI > Photographic Books

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: The Great War Illustrated
Pages: 149
Illustrations: 500
ISBN: 9781473833692
Published: 15th November 2017



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In the 4th volume of the series The Home Front, the author looks at the main events that happened at home in Britain and in other countries, Allied or enemy as well as the neutral nations during 1917. The text provides an overview of the year and sets out to show the effects of war on the civilian population, how it impacted on their daily lives and how they coped with it. Each book is international in scope and draws parallels between the warring nations in their experiences. As in the previous books the focus is on images in order to best understand how they represented themselves and how their world was portrayed to them and with little censorship - bomb damage was freely shown even though it was obvious that the Germans would get hold of the images. With the text are over 200 photographs and illustrations that are divided into discrete sections of the civilian experience of the war. Readers will be familiar with but a few of the illustartaions as most have not been used since they were taken in 1917.

For those on the Home Front, 1917 was a year when Total War started to become an actuality. The U-boat campaign meant that food did not get through resulting in shortages. As a result, more land was worked and people started an allotment. With army's demands for men and material seemingly never ending, there were even fewer men about. The majority of those still working were involved in some form of war work and during the year they were joined by thousands more women keen to do their bit. Women replaced men in many traditional male roles. It was a new world. 1917 was a year of belt-tightening, increasing hard work and strain. It would once again, not be over by Christmas, no matter how much they wished.

I liked that many of the photos selected had not been used before, you can read some books that cover this period and they are using the same stock images and I didn’t find it to be the case with this one, there was a mass of images that I had not seen before. It is 4 stars from me – highly recommended!

Read the full review here

Donnas Book Blog

An excellent collection. 10/10

The Great War magazine, September 2018 – reviewed by Mark Marsay

It's a fascinating book and series.

The Armourer, June 2018

The publisher has produced a very large number of ‘centenary books’ to mark the hundred years since the Great War, with this series being an important and popular contribution. Within the series this new book is a worthy addition. The First World War was really the third global conflict, but the first to introduce total industrial carnage – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.

 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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