Historic England, £30
Review by Edward Biddulph
When we think of the First World War, our minds inevitably turn to the barren quagmires of war-torn northern France and Belgium, the squalid conditions and boredom of life in the trenches, the excitement and fear of going over the top, and what seems to us to have been the senseless slaughter of millions of soldiers. While this is all true, Legacies of the First World War reminds us that the war was fought on many fronts, not least in England, with much of the evidence of the home front still present for us to discover (see CA 345).
In a series of contributions by archaeologists, architects, and historians, the volume explores, among other aspects, the evidence of coastal defences, war hospitals, memorials, the nascent air force, and the miles of practice trenches, a surprising amount of which can be traced to existing buildings or in the landscape through conventional archaeological survey methods, such as LiDAR.
This revealing, well-illustrated, and thought-provoking book – published appropriately in the centenary of the end of the war – deserves to have a wide readership.
This review appeared in CA 346.