Britain and World War One by Alan Simmonds

Britain and World War One by Alan Simmonds is a very good book on life on the home front during WWI. The book flows nicely making it a delight to read. I finished it in 2 days because it was so lovely to read and enjoyable. The book offers a bird’s eye view of life on the home front, from the politics to everyday struggles. I think this is a must read if you are interested in the topic. At about 300 pages, the book is quite short for the amount of information if offers.

Britain and World War One by Alan Simmonds

It starts before the war and the steps that led to the outbreak of the war. After that, each chapter is on a different topic, and they have a few pages at the end with a spotlight on a specific issue. For example the chapter on government ends with a focus on budgets and things like that.

Simmonds touches on fascinating aspects, like innovation during the war and how the public was involved, besides the usual topics of employment, food, prices, anti-German feelings, propaganda. The book ends with details on the aftermath, how many people died and similar issues. It’s so incredibly sad to think that in 20 years a new and longer war will start again.

Britain and World War One by Alan Simmonds

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Routledge
Year it was published: 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – WWI
Pages: 326

About the author: Alan Simmonds is a lecturer in Modern History at the University of Hull, UK, specializing in British society during the First World War and the inter-war era. He has published on aspects of British housing policy since 1945.
Website & Social Media Links: –



6 thoughts on “Britain and World War One by Alan Simmonds”

  • I always find books about the home front interesting, since more people were at home than actually away at war, in WW1 at least. I suppose in WW2 with the bombings many people on the home front were much more directly impacted by the fighting, but I bet for most of them it was still things like prices and shortages that affected them most.

    • There were bombings in the First World War too. It was not as dramatic as WWII, from our perspective, as we are used to bombs and drones and so on, but just imagine thinking that the enemy can come only from the land and instead bombs being dropped from Zeppelins.

  • I quite enjoy books about the way the war was fought on the Home Front and this is just long enough to be interesting, without becoming too heavy going. Over the years I have read quite a few fictional accounts of life on the Home Front during the wars and I find it really fascinating to think that we could all pull together so much during times of crisis in war, when nowadays and I am thinking here of the current pandemic, we seem to have the attitude of ‘every man for himself’ and we can’t even be bothered to try and obey the rules, even though this is just as much a war we are fighting. To let the light shine from your windows during blackout time, or break the night time curfew hours, would have resulted in harsh and severe penalties, as you were endangering not only your own, but other people’s lives. But to try and get people to stay indoors and not to insist on mixing with others, is like talking to yourself. Where is the British Bulldog spirit! 🙂

    • It’s not only in UK though. Someone said, in Summer last year that it is more detrimental not to go on holidays (including abroad)… which is crazy considering that the one who said that was, like me, born in Romania under the communist regime. Before the revolution the only place to go was Russia, so almost nobody was going abroad and after that we had to get visas which were very expensive. I had my first holiday abroad in 2007, in my 20s, which, again, was not uncommon. I think children aged 6 or 10 can miss a holiday in Italy or Greece, on the beach, for a week or two without having their well-being impacted.

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