The Home Front

As the war progressed it pervaded all aspects of civilian life. Quite apart from the proliferation of military camps and hospitals, evidence of the war was at every street corner, with recruitment posters, information sheets and propaganda appearing in many forms in every town and village.

Andrew Clark, the rector of Great Leighs in Essex compiled a diary to record the impact of the war on his village. By 1919 he had written up 92 volumes, passing them on to the Bodleian Library even as the war continued. The diaries include all kinds of printed ephemera and provide an extraordinary record of a wartime village, enhanced by Clark's willingness to record his own opinions.

University professors became involved in explaining the war to the public. Gilbert Murray, Professor of Greek in Oxford, wrote the pamphlet How Can War Ever be Right? in justification of the war. He received many letters both supporting and opposing his views. His sympathetic interest in the cases of conscientious objectors likewise led him into dispute with pacifists on the one hand and conscriptionists on the other.

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