The Home Front

KSLI Regimental Postcards

December 12, 201612:28 pm

Visitors to this website may have noticed the line of weary soldiers trudging across the header of the screen. These figures are taken from a postcard issued by the 6th battalion of the regiment for Christmas 1916. There is a marked difference in tone between this and other, earlier regimental postcards. In 1914 there was […]

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DIGGING IN ON THE HOME FRONT: ALLOTMENTS

November 28, 20162:41 pmDecember 12, 2016 10:08 am

Did even the Government in 1914 believe ‘it would be over by Christmas’? For two years it lamentably failed to address our greatest strategic vulnerability – the dependence on imported food for 60% of the nation’s diet. In 1914 we produced 19% of our wheat (today 83%). The Germans had imposed duties of 33% on cereals […]

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CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS IN DITTON PRIORS

November 21, 20161:02 pmDecember 12, 2016 10:44 am

 The ‘Home Office Scheme’ in July 1916 offered conscientious objectors, whose reasons for objection were considered genuine, an alternative to prison.  This would be a Work Camp where they would live communally, wear civilian clothes, and undertake ‘arduous work’. Ditton Priors Camp dates from March 1917, and was largely forgotten both in the village, and […]

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War-times ABC

August 1, 201610:52 amAugust 1, 2016 11:02 am

A is for armour all shiny and bright that men used to wear when they went off to fight. B is for button that ought to be bright when you fight for your King, your home and your right. C is for commandant whose uniform is red and when a train load comes in she […]

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Olympian dreams and the First World War

July 25, 201610:06 amJuly 25, 2016 12:03 pm

For sixteen days in August the eyes of the world will be on Rio and the finest athletes. There will be many invocations of the Olympic spirit, of fair play and sportsmanship. I expect to be accused of sour grapes when I recall that the Ancient Greeks saw their athletic events as an important preparation […]

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AE HOUSMAN AND THE SHROPSHIRE LADS

July 4, 20161:13 pm

What turned a decidedly sluggish seller into the one of the most popular books of poetry ever published? Originally published in an edition of 500; at the end of two years, the poet’s brother, Laurence Housman, bought up the last few copies. The Times, in a round- up of “Books of the Week” on 27 […]

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Waste Not, Want Not – Recipes from the First World War

June 6, 20162:14 pmJune 14, 2016 10:47 am

Buried among the documents that have survived in Stokesay Court’s WW1 hospital archive I came across a sheaf of 4 large, double sided printed pages headed: …WASTE NOT, WANT NOT… ECONOMY WILL WIN THE WAR As I started to read them in detail, I realized that these recipes themselves, together with the ingredients they used, […]

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The Waste of Daylight

March 10, 20162:40 pm

When the clocks spring forward on March 27th who will remember that we owe British Summer Time to the First World War? And to the Germans? Happily the Hero of the Hour is impeccably British. William Willett was a keen horseman. In summer he would take an early morning ride. In 1907, returning from a […]

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KHAKI -THE DUSTY ANSWER Part Two

February 1, 20162:47 pmFebruary 1, 2016 2:55 pm

UNIFORM was not the word for it According to the official military historian Brigadier James Edmonds, “The British Army of 1914, was the best trained best equipped and best organized British Army ever sent to war.” He was, of course, referring solely to the Regular Army. They were the only army to wear any form […]

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KHAKI -THE DUSTY ANSWER Part One

February 1, 20162:00 pm

The Minister of War dismissing an appeal to return our troops to ‘coloured magnificence’, replied “the uniform outlook gets drabber and drabber and will continue to do so.” It had all begun in India on the North West Frontier. The Second-in-Command of the first unit to opt for the drab look claimed the uniform would […]

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