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Richmond WW1 Diary 7 December 1916

Lloyd George becomes new UK Prime Minister Nationally, the mood of popular support for the war in Britain changed following the Battle of the Somme. As the casualty figures – one million British Empire dead – began to emerge, rumours of poor leadership grew. Discontent led to the then Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, being forced…

Postcard showing buildings along the lakefront and a steamer boat

Richmond WW1 Diary 18 November 1916

The situation in Constance (Konstanz) Constance, Germany, was a small garrison town on the shores of Lake Constance, on the border with Switzerland. In August 1914 it hosted the last European Peace Conference before the continent and the world erupted into war. As elsewhere across Europe, Germany suffered from severe food shortages. Things were worse…

Richmond WW1 Diary 14 February 1916

The Valentines The Commonwealth War graves Commission website provides details of all those who died during the First World War and have recorded burials. A search of their database reveals 129 men called Valentine died during the war. They were Privates, Officers, Gunners, Pilots, Able Seamen, Fusiliers and even a Cyclist. The youngest was 18 year…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 19 January 1915

The first Zeppelin raids on Britain The first Zeppelin air raid had been on the city of Liege, Belgium, on 6 August 1914, when nine civilians were killed. The first fatal air raid on Britain resulted in the deaths of four people on 19 January 1915. Two Zeppelins dropped bombs on the east coast towns…

Workers outside the Pelabon Factory in Twickenham

Belgian WW1 refugees arrive in Richmond

When Belgium was invaded in August 1914, thousands of refugees fled. Many came to Britain, supported by charities and the government. In Richmond the Cercle Français became the core of the Refugee Support Committee. Local businessmen and their wives formed groups in the sister boroughs of Teddington and Barnes, and set up hostels for refugees.…