At the outbreak of the Great War, Chester was transformed from a county market town with some nice shops and lots of day-trippers, to a bustling, frantically busy military center with men and horses everywhere. As they left for the war zones, or to go to other parts of the country for training, the city settled down to the hard work of dealing with the absence of so many men from vital jobs – a challenge eventually tackled by many of the city’s women. Life was hard, money was short for some, though others earned good wages in the ammunition works.
It soon became obvious that many men would never come back. But life in the city went on, everyone played their part, the cinemas and theaters stayed open, as did the pubs (though with reduced hours). Concerts kept the people entertained and helped to raise vital funds, and news films kept them up-to-date with the latest from the Front. But, eventually it was over and the city had a different set of problems to deal with…
About the Author
Peter Ollerhead started working at Rolls-Royce, then became a teacher and a second-hand bookseller. He broadcasts regularly on Premier Christian Radio, is secretary of the Crewe Historical Society and chair of the district’s Historical Association. He has lived in Crewe for most of his life and has researched deeply into the town’s origins and development. In addition to writing many articles for journals, he has published Making Cars at Crewe, a social history of Rolls-Royce in Crewe, and Crewe: A History and Guide.
Susan Chambers is a keen student of the history of Cheshire and the Crewe area in particular, and she is the author of Crewe: A History.