This is the story of Henley in Arden, Warwickshire during the Great War and the years immediately preceding it, covering many aspects of life in the town. Its people created and staffed a military hospital from 1914 to 1919, treating over 1,500 patients, only two of whom died. The book contains details of some 200 local men who served in the armed forces, with information in most cases of their families, their occupations, their service records and, for those who survived, their life after the war. The stories of the Old Boys of the preparatory boarding schools of Arden House and Beaudesert Park who served in the Great War are also told. There are reports from the local Military Tribunal which heard the cases and decided the fate of more than 50 men from Henley who maintained that they should not be conscripted for active service. The last chapter looks at how Henley chose to commemorate its fallen.
After leaving Workington Grammar School, Douglas Bridgewater completed his obligatory National Service as a Sergeant in the Royal Army Service Corps at HQ British Commonwealth Forces Korea (located in Kure, Japan). He then went up to The Queen's College, Oxford, where he graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He spent most of his working career in the computer industry. On his retirement he represented Henley in Arden on Stratford on Avon District Council for four years and on Warwickshire County Council for eight. He then resumed his academic studies, gaining an MA in English Local History and a PhD in Modern History from the University of Birmingham. He is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for War Studies at the University. He has twice served as High Bailiff of Henley in Arden (1997-2000 and 2005-2006) and was elected an Honorary Burgess in 2012.