Windermere and Grasmere in the Great War

Ruth Mansergh

Date Published :
July 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Your Towns & Cities in the Great War
Illustration :
100 illustrations
No associated books available.


Windermere and Grasmere in the Great War is an expert account of these Lake District town's fascinating contributions to the Great War effort from the outbreak of war in 1914, to the long-awaited Allied victory in 1918\. The book is designed to be accessible to all, and for this reason it includes the history of the South Lakes area of Cumbria, where the scarcity of visitors was felt during the Great War. Interesting stories include Lake Windermere’s setting as a watery runway, rumors that a German airship was operating from a secret base near Grasmere, the double life of Arthur Ransome, and Cumberland Wrestling’s postwar boom. The book also takes a detailed look at the graduates of the Lakes Flying Company, the Hardistys, VAD nurse Nellie Taylor, the Baisbrowns, the boatmen who sewed bags for sand, the gunpowder carts, Beatrix Potter’s opinions, conscientious objectors, landowners and gentry, Cobby the horse, railwaymen, and prisoner of war Frederick Mallinson. It acts as a reference guide to local war memorials, and a chronological guide to Belgian refugees in south Lakeland whose homes included Ellerthwaite Lodge, Windermere, Calgarth Park auxiliary hospital, Troutbeck Bridge, and the village of Finsthwaite. St Martin’s next to the Old England Hotel, Windermere, has more memorials than any other church in Cumbria – including the Cathedral (Carlisle). Overall, this is a poignant testimony to the bravery, self-sacrifice and determination of the people of Windermere and Grasmere during the Great War, who sought to find normality in a reality so far removed from anything they had ever known.

About The Author

Ruth Mansergh is a full-time mother of two who has worked as a journalist and as a freelance sub-editor/proofreader for publications including Financial Adviser and the Daily Mail. She was brought up in Cumbria, went to school in North Yorkshire, and has a degree in English with Social History from Leeds University. She has inherited her fathers keen interest in local history.


"This series is totally riveting, essential reading for anyone who lived there, and for anyone, indeed,
who wants a complete picture of how the conflict affected the people of this country. Superb.

- Books Monthly, June 2017

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