At the outbreak of the Great War, Chester was transformed from a county market town with some nice shops and lots of day-trippers, to a bustling, frantically busy military centre with men and horses everywhere. As they left for the war zones, or to go to other parts of the country for training, the city settled down to the hard work of dealing with the absence of so many men from vital jobs – a challenge eventually tackled by many of the city’s women. Life was hard, money was short for some, though others earned good wages in the ammunition works. It soon became obvious that many men would never come back. But life in the city went on, everyone played their part, the cinemas and theatres stayed open, as did the pubs (though with reduced hours). Concerts kept the people entertained and helped to raise vital funds, and news films kept them up-to-date with the latest from the Front. But, eventually it was over and the city had a different set of problems to deal with…
CHESTER IN THE GREAT WAR
Introducing Your Towns and Cities in the Great War, describing the impact of the First World War on local communities in the UK.
The series records, through words and photographs, how each year of the war brought a change in the spirit of the populace as the huge battles taking place in Belgium, France, Gallipoli and elsewhere, took their toll on the menfolk.
Knowledgeable authors document the stories of how these cities and towns were affected by the conflict by researching the local newspapers of the day; along with letters, diaries, photograph albums, parish magazines, trade journals and contemporary printed pamphlets etc, located in the local library archives.