The WI: A Centennial History

The WI: A Centennial HistoryThe WI: A Centenary History by Mavis Curtis
ISBN: 1445616920
Published by Amberley Publishing on March 15, 2015
Genres: Cultural, Social
Pages: 272

The Women’s Institute is the story of women helping women. The WI is a hybrid of a Canadian organization conceived by Adelaide Hoodless and an urbane British group founded by suffragist, Mrs. Nora Wynford Phillips. Both groups wanted to help women improve themselves and the lives of their families. Mrs. Hoodless was inspired by the death of her young son due to drinking milk improperly stored in the summer.

Initially, rural women were not interested as they felt their sons and husbands would belittle them. Things changed in 1915 as thousands of men went to war and women were forced to take on their work. Secretary of the British Agricultural Organization Society John Nugent Harris heard Mrs. Madge Watt, a Canadian who relocated to England, speak at an agricultural meeting where she proposed that a women’s Institute modeled on the Canadian one be started in Britain. Watt was employed by the Agricultural Society to start branches through out the country. The national association was created in 1918.

Many early members of the national Women’s Institute were active in the suffrage movement. The local groups were focused on improving women’s lives in practical domestic ways. In the public’s mind the WI was linked to the Suffragists.

The WI was not government funded. It was non-political, non-denominational and pacifist. During WW2, the Institute was invaluable in communicating within the civilian population, establishing once again produce markets for the home front population, and troop support.

After WW2 the WI groups were helpful in gathering data about the rural areas for the government and worked hard to lobby for improvements in living conditions, such as electricity and running water. Today the Women’s Institute continues to help ease the isolation of rural areas.

Reviewed by Anne Merritt

1916: The First World War in Old Photographs: A War of Attrition

1916: The First World War in Old Photographs: A War of Attrition1916: The First World War in Old Photographs: A War of Attrition by John Christopher, Campbell McCutcheon
ISBN: 1445622084
Published by Amberley Publishing on October 19th 2014
Genres: Military, Photography, Pictorial
Pages: 160

1915: The First World War in Old Photographs: Setbacks and Failures

1915: The First World War in Old Photographs: Setbacks and Failures1915: The First World War in Old Photographs: Setbacks and Failures by John Christopher, Campbell McCutcheon
ISBN: 144562205X
Published by Amberley Publishing on August 19th 2014
Genres: Military, Photography, Pictorial
Pages: 160

British Posters of the First World War

British Posters of the First World WarBritish Posters of the First World War by John Christopher
ISBN: 9781445633169
Published by Amberley Publishing on May 28th 2014
Genres: Design, Great Britain, Pictorial
Pages: 192

Len's Summary: Posters, aimed mainly at the semi-literate working class were the prime medium of social mobilization (propaganda) in WWI.

The Emperors: How Europe’s Greatest Rulers Were Destroyed by World War I

The Emperors: How Europe’s Greatest Rulers Were Destroyed by World War IThe Emperors: How Europe's Greatest Rulers Were Destroyed by World War I by Gareth Russell
ISBN: 1445634333
Published by Amberley Publishing on November 19th 2014
Genres: Military, Royalty
Pages: 256

Len's Summary: Popular history: The devastating experiences of three ruling houses who were victims of the war.

Blighty’s Railways: Britian’s Railways in the First World War

Blighty’s Railways: Britian’s Railways in the First World WarBlighty's Railways: Britian's Railways in the First World War by Alexander J. Murray
ISBN: 9781445638577
Published by Amberley Publishing on June 19th 2014
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Technology & Engineering, Transportation
Pages: 160

Len's Summary: One of a handful of recent works on British wartime rail. Recall that the Director General of Military Railways in the BEF 1915-16 was Sir Eric Geddies, a railway executive given an honorary commission as a Major General.

British & Allied Aircraft Manufacturers of the First World War

British & Allied Aircraft Manufacturers of the First World WarBritish & Allied Aircraft Manufacturers of the First World War by Terry C. Treadwell
ISBN: 144560101X
Published by Amberley Publishing on February 1st 2011
Genres: Aviation, Military, World War I
Pages: 252

The Ships of Scapa Flow

The Ships of Scapa FlowThe Ships of Scapa Flow by Campbell McCutcheon
ISBN: 1445633868
Published by Amberley Publishing on March 1st 2014
Genres: Military, Naval, World War I
Pages: 96

Len's Summary: British Home Fleet naval base in two world wars and the grave yard of the Imperial German High Seas Fleet.

A Home Front Diary, 1914-18

A Home Front Diary, 1914-18A Home Front Diary, 1914-18 by Lillie Scales
ISBN: 9781445618968
Published by Amberley Publishing on March 19th 2014
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, General, Personal Memoirs, History, Military, World War I, Literary Collections, Diaries & Journals
Pages: 224

Len's Summary: Diary of a British housewife whose family took in Belgian refugees and ANZAC soldiers.