Synopses & Reviews
Along with most of the United Kingdom the town of Crewe was affected in many ways during the four years of the Great War. This book examines many of the ways in which the hostile struggle between the European powers brokered conflict and cooperation in this industrial community planted in the rural acres of Cheshire by the London and North Western Railway Company. A military tradition dating back to the town s earliest decades helps to explain the eager response by the young men of Crewe when war was declared in 1914.
War across the Channel soon generated a rapid increase in the cost of living with its accusations of blatant profiteering; a situation only remedied by regular wage rises. This conflict between organized labor and capital was perhaps more marked in Crewe then elsewhere in south Cheshire, a consequence of the many trades unions that were present in the town.
Obviously, the sacrifice of young men on land and sea was the major effect of war so biographical details of many the lads of Crewe who fell or were wounded in the minor or major battles in the different theaters of war are included. This loss of life is a continual somber background to all of the other issues raised by the Great War in Crewe such as the anti-German riots in October 1914 or the surprising fact, to many, that a woman could do a man s job in the railway works.
So, conscription, Zeppelin scares, food shortages, rationing, allotment gardens, blackout, welfare schemes, the Christmas truce of 1914, influenza epidemic, seances and the dead, and the division of opinion over a war memorial are just some of the issues which came before the people of Crewe during the troubled years of the Great War and which feature in this book."