Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Manchester and the Great War .................

August 1914
I have to confess that I have been away from the project for a while but during the next few months I shall be working on a new book for the History Press on Manchester and the Great War.

Now we all have our own images of that conflict and for most of us they will involve young men in ill fitting uniforms and women at work in munitions factories.

Less familiar will be those of people queuing for food, the lines of policeman escorting enemy aliens into custody and the vast tide of voluntary work played out in Red Cross hospitals across Manchester and countless fund raising events.

And then there will be the way those men women and children faced up to to the war with that mix of courage, stoicism and sacrifice.

It draws on a vast collection of unseen material including letters, photographs, official documents and a wealth of everyday objects including picture postcards, souvenirs and very personal family memorials dedicated to those who died in action.

November 1918
Together they offer up a unique picture of a city at war.

Much of the material has been donated by David Harrop who also offered up ideas, advice and above all encouragement.

And it is two of his pictures which I have included today.

The first is of the Cheshire Yeomanry, mustering at Brook Street in Macclesfield on August 4th 1914 and while it isn’t Manchester and will not appear in the book it captures perfectly the preparations on that first day of war.

The second is a scene on Armistice Day as the crowds gathered close to the Palace Theatre.

Location; Macclesfield, August 1914, Manchester, November 1918

Pictures; from the collection of David Harrop

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