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At 7.30 a.m. on Saturday 1 July 1916, the British Expeditionary Force rose from its trenches and stepped into a blizzard of fire that would echo for generations to come.
Setting out that day were regiments from every part of the country but, with no fewer than twenty-nine battalions, Yorkshire contributed the largest contingent, and the county’s close-knit mill towns and pit villages paid a heavy price. Two months later, Zeppelins brought the war to streets still mourning their dead and added women and children to the growing casualty lists. This was total war.
Using letters, diaries, archives, newspapers and local histories, Yorkshire’s War tells the story of a county at war: of children sewing sandbags; of old men guarding the coast; of young men going off to war and of their wives, mothers and sweethearts finding new ways to cope with near-starvation rations, the constant fear for their loved ones and finding strength in the new roles opening up for them.
This is their story…
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