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Researching the home front in Surrey in the First World War

Women working alongside men in the Dennis factory in Guildford, c.1915. (SHC ref 1463/GN/8/2/6)This comprehensive guide introduces the main archive sources at Surrey History Centre for the study of the impact of the First World War on Surrey. The focus of the guide is the home front and life and change within the county. PDFs of the home front guide are at the bottom of this page. There is an introduction, and the guide is divided into parts covering the following topics:


  1. Counter Invasion, Defence of the Realm and the Role of the Police
  2. Agriculture, Food Supply and Rationing
  3. The Mobilisation of Industry and Industrial Relations
  4. Women at War
  5. Surrey as an Army Camp: Mobilisation, Recruitment, Conscription and Prison Camps
  6. Air Raids and Incidents
  7. Financing the War, Relieving Hardship
  8. Tending the Wounded
  9. War Pensions and post-war Relief for Veterans
  10. The Impact on Schools and Colleges
  11. The Response of Local Authorities
  12. The Response of the Churches
  13. Remembering the Fallen

A selected and annotated list of books relating to the First World War held in the local studies library at Surrey History Centre is also available as a PDF at the bottom of this page.

For Surrey regiments and other military sources please see Researching a soldier, sailor or airman who served in the First World War.

Online sources

  • Great War Forum For home front (home units, drill halls, UKPOW camps), badges, women in the Great War.
  • Times Digital Archive on the Surrey online reference shelf For home front comments and fund raising. Free at home to Surrey Libraries members.
  • British Newspaper Archive For an ever-expanding collection of local and national newspapers, a treasure trove of information about the war and popular reaction to it. Subscription service. Also available to personal subscribers to findmypast.

Image: Women working alongside men in the Dennis factory in Guildford, c.1915. (SHC ref 1463/GN/8/2/6)

Files available to download

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