Recruiting for the war that changed the world

More than 100,000 people attended a morale-boosting event outside the Guildhall on the first anniversary of the outbreak of the war.
More than 100,000 people attended a morale-boosting event outside the Guildhall on the first anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

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It is now less than two years before we will commemorate the start of the First World War in 1914.

And getting in early to mark the centenary, author John Sadden has produced a new edition of the history of Portsmouth and Gosport during the so-called Great War.

It features a collection of photographs and memories from women, children and soldiers showing the social changes in both towns between 1914 and 1918 and how they were dealt with.

The impact of women in the factories and dockyard is documented along with an insight into how the war affected the children of both towns.

Through emotional accounts, the struggle to stay focussed at school and worries about relatives on the Western Front are explained.

Today and tomorrow Remember When features some of the pictures from the book about the war which changed the world forever.

This picture shows some of the 100,000-strong crowd who attended a morale-boosting event and recruiting rally outside the Guildhall on the first anniversary of the outbreak of the war – August 1915.The aim was to persuade enough men to join a 2nd Portsmouth Battalion.

Six months earlier the 1st Portsmouth Battalion was given a hearty send-off with seemingly the whole population turning out to line the streets from Southsea Common to Hilsea barracks.

As a result of the rally pictured, a further 1,100 men fell in to form the 2nd Battalion and followed their predecessors to the trenches earning themselves the suitable nickname The Mudlarks.

But as they all quickly discovered, the consistency and smell of the trench mud at the Somme was altogether different from that which separated The Hard from the sea on a hot August day.

Portsmouth & Gosport At War by John Sadden is published by Amberley at £14.99.