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Leicester had a strong radical tradition, and was represented in Parliament during the Great War by the outspoken Labour MP Ramsay MacDonald. MacDonald's anti-war views divided opinion in Leicester sharply, but whilst it was slow to provide troops for Kitchener's Army, this was not through lack of patriotism. Instead, Leicester's three main industries – footwear, hosiery and engineering – all had bulging order books as a result of government war contracts.

Bravery on the battlefield, strikes at home, conscientious objectors and the great flu pandemic were all part of Leicester's story in the Great War, and all are covered here. The author allows Leicester citizens, who lived through these momentous events, to tell their stories in their own words, and powerful eyewitness accounts from men, women and children run through this book. Many of these accounts are previously unpublished, and lend a sense of freshness and immediacy to the narrative, making this an ideal purchase for First World War enthusiasts and social historians alike.

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