Book Review – We who served … Stories of Addingham and the Great War, 1914-1918.

We who served … Stories of Addingham and the Great War, 1914-1918. By Catherine Snape.

Addingham Civic Society (email: info@addinghamcivicsociety.co.uk), 2015. x + 310 pp. ISBN: 978-1508859536. £10.00.

wewhoserved

“From Addingham, a close-knit village of millworkers and farmers, with a population of less than 2,000, over 400 men marched off to fight in the 1914-1918 war.

The war brought many changes and much hardship. Families rallied to help each other in the hope that their menfolk would return. More than 80 did not, but the true unsung heroes are those who did, and the families who supported them through those long dark years and helped to rebuild their community.

The book tells about these families, their remarkable stories of stoicism, hope and sacrifice, and about their men who went to war.”

This text from the book’s cover indicates the nature of this attractively-produced book.

Chapter One establishes the pre-war context, covering Addingham’s changing society, its businesses and shops, children at work, industrial unrest, and the outbreak of war. Chapter Two features each of the years 1914 to 1919 with text taken from local newspapers. Chapter Three looks at the Home Front, featuring attitudes to Germans, postal services, the fear of invasion, the garrison town of Skipton, the White Feather Movement, women in the workforce, women’s magazines, volunteering, local war hospitals, DORA (Defence Of the Realm Act), conscription and war memorials. Chapter Four – Taking the King’s Shilling – looks at joining the army, its requirements and service conditions, daily life in the army, postal and medical services, and prisoners of war. Chapter Five – For King and Country – covers the service given by Addingham families, medals, where the servicemen lived and what news was received from the Front.

An impressive 140 pages (almost half the book) gives copious details of all the Addingham men who served, with supplementary lists by the categories: Regulars and Reservists, Territorials, Places men served, Naval personnel, Lord Derby recruits, and the ultimate sacrifice. An impressive range of sources has been used, including illustrations, many from the Addingham Digital Archive

This book came about in response to publicity surrounding the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War:

One objective was to research the names on the Addingham war memorial in the Main Street, but when it became apparent that there were names of village servicemen who were not on the memorials, it was decided to extend the research to the lives, times and service of all men who served their country in the armed forces.

This book joins others that have been compiled in memory of those who fought and died in the 1914-18 war, and those who lived through it, three of which – those on Bradford, Low Moor and Ilkley – were reviewed in the 2015 issue of The Bradford Antiquary.

Bob Duckett

Review reprinted from the Bradford Antiquary, 2016, courtesy of the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society.

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