Farnham & District Museum Society

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w1 Farnham in the Great War

Maurice Hewins has written the book which Bill Ewbank-Smith, in his ‘Farnham In War and Peace’, said must one day be written – ‘a detailed history exclusive to Farnham’s role in the Great War years...’. 

Maurice’s book is a comprehensive narrative of the period 1914 to 1919 and leaves us in no doubt about the debilitating circumstances that challenged life in and around Farnham for the period and beyond. It takes us way beyond those thirty pages in Ewbank-Smith’s aforementioned book. 

The book’s scope embraces conscription, tribunals, the roles of women and older boys, the privations of billeted troops and the community and the progressive development of the Labour movement during the period – this is a common man’s view, not that of the armchair general. 

Maurice also includes numerous anecdotes which leaven the story.  Apart from the narrative, the book has many wonderful images and archive excerpts which help bring so much to life. We tend to see the Great War in terms of the fallen. Maurice sets out to go way beyond that and “unearth a little of the surprising story of Farnham’s part in 1914-1919”.