Another brick in the wall
HISTORIC ENGLAND is marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with the first major publication to examine its impact on the English landscape and infrastructure. The editors of Legacies of the First World War (£30), Wayne Cocroft and Paul Stamper, argue that, although the social effects of the war have been a popular topic since the 1960s, ‘the physical effect the war had on England’s countryside and built environment has been surprisingly little explored and relatively few sites and buildings have been protected’.
Examining how the resources of the entire country were utilised for the war effort, the book is profusely illustrated with archive images and photographs of surviving structures, from the remarkably preserved collection of RAF airfields and training stations on Salisbury Plain and one of the first early-warning sound mirrors, used to detect the advance of Zeppelins, at Dover, to a rare, bullet-scarred, rifle-range target wall (above). It was built in Burton-on-trent in 1914, at a time when the British Army still referred to rifle use as musketry. Jack Watkins