Revisiting wartime Stony Stratford

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A new book shedding light on life in Stony Stratford during the First World War has just been released.

Historian John Taylor, who writes the popular weekly Citizen column The Way We Were, has taken an in-depth look at life in the town during the four years from 1914.

Using news archives of the time he investigates the lives and deaths of the young men from the area who went to fight on the war front.

Such was the number eager to serve their country, there was no need for enforced recruitment: He said: “I’ve tried to make the book as detailed as possible to do justice to the town and the era, and I wanted to give the present generation an idea of what it was like then, and the sacrifices that were made.”

In wartime,just as now, schools and businesses in the area remained busy, but with noticeable differences.

“The big difference was the lack of men folk in the area,” John explained. Also things like road repairs and building work was being left, there was no-one to do it.”

John has spent four decades researching the history of North Bucks and has many books published on the subject. The good news for history fans is that John is already working on his next page-turner.

“The next one will be on Newport Pagnell, with ones on Bletchley and Wolverton to follow,” he promised.

> Stony Stratford during the First World War is available from Waterstone’s, Midsummer Place, Wolverton Bookshop, MK Museum and Miss Havisham’s Tea Rooms in Timor Court, Stony Stratford.

> The Way We Were, p50..