All Quiet on the Home Front

An Oral History of Life in Britain During The First World War

Richard Van Emden, Steve Humphries

Date Published :
July 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
100 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473891944
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


The truth about the sacrifice and suffering on the home front during World War I is rarely discussed. In this book, some of the oldest men and women in the country speak about experiences and events that have remained buried for 85 years. Their testimony shows the same candor and courage we have become accustomed to hearing from veterans of the western front. Those interviewed include a survivor of a Zeppelin raid on Hull in 1915, a Welsh munitions worker recruited as a girl, and a woman rescued from a bombed school after five days. There are also accounts of rural famine, bereavement and the effects on families back home, and even the story of a woman who planned to kill her family to save them further suffering.

About The Author

Richard van Emden interviewed 270 veterans of the Great War, has written extensively about the soldiers' lives, and has worked on many television documentaries, always concentrating on the human aspects of war, its challenge and its cost to the millions of men involved. Richard van Emden’s books have sold over 660,000 copies and have appeared in The Times’ bestseller chart on a number of occasions.

He has also worked on more than a dozen television programmes on the Great War, including the award-winning Roses of No Man’s Land, Britain’s Boy Soldiers, A Poem for Harry, War Horse: the Real Story, Teenage Tommies with Fergal Keane and most recently, Hidden Histories: WW1’s Forgotten Photographs. He lives in London.

STEVE HUMPHRIES began his career as a university lecturer before setting up Bristol-based Testimony Films in 1992. A highly respected and influential producer and writer, his oral-history series have included “A Labour of Love”, “Forbidden Britain”, “Veterans”, “Green” and “Pleasant Land and The Call of the Sea”, all of which he has written books to accompany. He is also Vice-President of the Oral History Society. Steve produced and directed the television programme “Horror on the Home Front”.


"The home front in WW2 is immortalised forever in Dads' Army - nothing similar for WW1, and yet the people left behind faced even bigger challenges, especially when so many men failed to return home after the hostilities. Noted WW1 historian sets the records straight in this fasinating account of what went on back home."

- Books Monthly

This book covers every aspect of social history and the effects military decisions had on citizens back home. The line "At 11am on the 11th of November 1918 the country went wild with joy" in the final chapter sums up the spirit of all the contributors.

- Who Do You Think You Are?, September 2017

“This reviewer has read a number of histories of the home fronts of Britain, the U.S., and France, and this oral history is by far the most fascinating… These oral histories are powerful enough to stand on their own, in addition to the fact that the interviewees often also recounted their parents’ perspectives on these events. If you’re going to buy only one book on the British home front, it should be this one.”

- World War One Illustrated

More from this publisher