Ironbridge in the Great War

Christopher W A Owen

Date Published :
September 2018
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Your Towns & Cities in the Great War
Illustration :
Black and white illustrations
No associated books available.


Famed as the birthplace of modern industry and the first cast iron metal single span bridge, Ironbridge is venerated the world over yet its social history is at times unfamiliar.

One hundred years ago this sleepy town, set by the river Severn, willingly volunteered its lifeblood to a war that everyone confidently believed would be a short-lived, adventurous romp. Misled by government propaganda, they soon discovered through fighting relative's letters and various official news reports, many of which are unearthed for the first time throughout this book, that it had rapidly degenerated into an endless morass of bloody violence with the probability of their men meeting a painful death on a daily basis thrown in for good measure.

The town's wartime heritage is one of enterprise and hard work as the majority of the Great War gun-fodder comprised working-class men drawn from prestigious local companies. Maw & Co, the world-famous ceramic tile maker, raised its own company of enlisted fighting men, in common with other businesses nationwide, that were known as Pals Battalions. As in most instances across the land, it subsequently paid a heavy price for this mass act of patriotism. Ironbridge also became a cradle of the fledgling women's wartime workforce, who helped produce vital heavy munitions components at another famous local company's works.

Ironbridge in the Great War is the story of the town's great sacrifice, as evidenced by the numerous and diverse war monuments that populate the town and its surrounding hamlets. This is detailed work that includes fascinating facts about the town, which, despite being constantly under the world spotlight, remained, until now, a part of its hidden wartime social history.

About The Author

Chris Owen is a freelance writer and IT graduate who lives with his wife and son in Shropshire. He is a local historian whose specialty is the Second World War and has therefore written a logical prequel to this later cataclysmic event which stemmed from the mistakes of its bloody predecessor. Intrigued by this rural farming county's wartime history he is also commissioned to write about some of its other towns and their sacrifices during the Great War, which are to be featured in this fascinating Pen & Sword series.

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