This book tells the fascinating, and largely forgotten, story of Oxford’s part in the Great War. The University City became a military training camp as soldiers and officer cadets occupied men’s colleges left virtually empty as undergraduates enlisted. Public buildings were converted into military hospitals where many war casualties were treated. The City also took in Belgian and Serbian refugees. Oxford dons engaged in vital war work, and academic life largely depended upon the women’s colleges. Local industries, including Morris’s new car factory at Cowley, converted to war production, and women made munitions or replaced men in other work. Fear of invasion sparked the formation of a Dad’s Army, and a black-out protected the City from air raids. Civilians, especially women, supported the war effort through fund-raising and voluntary work. They also cultivated war allotments as food shortages led to communal kitchens and rationing. This expert account shows a civilian population coping with anxiety during a titanic struggle in which college heads and the humblest citizens were afflicted equally by the loss of loved ones.
OXFORD 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.
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