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In the Shadow of the Great War: Surrey 1914-1922

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Kirsty Bennett, Imogen Middleton, Michael Page & Juliet Warren (editors) In the Shadow of the Great War: Surrey, 1914-1922 (The History Press, 208 pages (2019); ISBN-10: 0750993065; ISBN-13: 978-0750993067. £14.99

Before reviewing this book I must state that I am a member of Surrey Heritage and was given a copy of it as a thank you for some input I made to the Surrey in the Great War project in its infancy; however, I was not asked to review it but it impressed me so much I thought it was well worth doing so.    

The above book has been published as part of Surrey Heritage’s project Surrey in the Great War which is now coming to a close. It consists of eight themed chapters that look at how the county in the broadest sense responded to the challenges of the first globalised war between industrialised nations. The book looks at how the county council and its institutions along with the business and farming communities among others coped with the demands of the government, rationing and the Defence of the Realm Act. There are also chapters looking at the various roles undertaken by women during the war; looking after the wounded and also the coming of peace, veterans and remembrance. There are also a number of case studies which have come from contributions to the online project. Each chapter and case study has both end notes and a bibliography which are found at the end of the volume 

In the Shadow of the Great War is well written and has been well illustrated from material held both at the Surrey History Centre in Woking as well as from other archives in the county. The editors are to be praised for putting such an informative and coherent book together. It is also refreshing to find that they have also taken the time to prepare a decent index.

I can whole heartily recommend this book to anybody interested in learning how an individual county and its inhabitants coped with the challenges of the Great War. It will hopefully provide an introduction for further research into aspects of the home front for school children, the general reader or academics.  It is good value for its price.

The book is being launched at the Surrey History Centre on Saturday 9 November as part of their 2019 In the Shadow of the Great War: Surrey 1914-1922 Armistice commemoration between 1.30pm until 4pm. It is a free event but places are limited. Further details can be found at https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/culture-and-leisure/history-centre/events.  

Edited by bootneck

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