Friday, 5 September 2014

Cornwall in the First World War

During this month, each weekday I'm posting a photograph showing Cornwall's First World War.

This image is courtesy of Redruth historian Paddy Bradley. During December 1914 an army recruitment team came to the town searching for volunteers. To cover as much ground as possible, they commandeered one of the trams connecting Redruth with Camborne. The garish adverts carried on the tram's side were covered over with red, white and blue bunting, while on the top deck a military band played stirring patriotic music to attract recruits.

The tramway had opened in 1902, a three-mile single track with eight passing points, connecting Redruth’s West End with Trelowarren Street, Camborne, via Barncoose, Illogan Highway, Pool, Trevenson, Tuckingmill, Roskear and Wesley Street. Along the route were mines employing thousands of men: mighty Dolcoath, East Pool and Agar, North and South Crofty. Industry too was close by, including the Climax Rock Drill Works, Holman’s Foundry, and the Bickford-Smith dynamite fuse factory.

The recruiters foresaw rich pickings, but apparently there were few takers. By that time the first zeal for joining up had faded, in the face of a war which had already consumed thousands of men and showed no sign of ending. 

My book, 'Cornwall In The First World War', is published by Truran. With 112 pages and 100 images, you'll find it in bookshops across the Duchy. It's also available through Amazon:

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