WHEN THE OFFICE WENT TO WAR

WhenOfficeWent2War

War letters from the men of the Great Western Railway

Edited by Clare Horrie and Kathryn Peterson

Published by Bloomsbury 5 November, 2015

£14.99 Hardback / £12.99 eBook

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During the course of the First World War, staff of the Great Western Railway’s Audit Office sent letters and photographs back to their employer in Paddington, which were in turn collated into monthly “newsletters” by those who stayed at home to keep Britain moving. Today these newsletters give a unique insight into the Great War – these soldiers were writing to inform and entertain their colleagues rather than to comfort a worrying parent or to confess their love to a distant partner – and bring a distinct band of individuals to life.

When the Office Went to War brings together these letters, with the Audit Office almost becoming a character in itself. Telling the story chronologically, and featuring photographs and postcards from some of the soldiers, it recreates the suspense in the office as the remaining few waited to hear from their colleagues at the Front.

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