New book explores Lancaster’s war effort

Peter Donnelly, Kings Own Royal Regiment Museum.
Peter Donnelly, Kings Own Royal Regiment Museum.

A new book capturing Lancaster’s involvement in the First World War has been penned by city historians.

Great War Britain: Lancaster - Remembering 1914 and 1918, draws on the records of the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum at Lancaster City Museum, and Reveille, which provides a record of each Lancastrian killed in the war.

The Lancaster First World War book

The Lancaster First World War book

The book, published to commemorate the centenary of the conflict, explores the impact of the “war to end all wars” on the city and its people.

It has been written by Peter Donnelly, curator at the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, and Ian Gregory, Corinna Peniston-Bird and Michael Hughes - who are all lecturers in the history department at Lancaster University.

It is dedicated to the late Brigadier James (Jim) Dennis, whose commitment to researching the war memorials of Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth and surrounding villages, did much to inspire it.

His work was motivated by the desire to record as much detail as possible about the 2,700 people named on local war memorials “so that their lives can be remembered in a fuller and more significant way for all time”.

The illustrated book is set out into eight chapters, the first detailing the outbreak of war and the mobilisation of the King’s Own regiment.

It then goes on to explore attitudes to war, the war at home, the King’s Own experiences, Lancaster’s casualties, the men who did not fight, the impact of deaths at home and the end of war and remembrance.

Lancaster Military Heritage Group, the Documenting Dissent Project run by Global Link, Lancaster District and Family History Group, and Martin Purdy and Mandy Stretch for their expertise on Westfield War Memorial Village have been acknowledged as contributors to the book.

A launch event will be held at the city museum in Lancaster on the evening of September 7.

The book, priced £12.99 is available at the city museum and all good book shops.