An­other brick in the wall

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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