Basking in the summer sunshine of July 1914, the west coast of Wales seemed far away from a war on mainland Europe. However, its effects were soon felt, as within days the Territorial Army camped nearby were marched off to go to - well, no one knew quite where.
As the years dragged on, nearly every family was affected by the war. Raw recruits were billeted in the town and marched up and down the promenade, signallers practised sending messages by semaphore from the castle to Constitution Hill and the dreaded telegrams dropped onto doormats with ever increasing regularity. The town held a somewhat muted National Eisteddfod, the Theological College became a hospital, Belgian refugees appeared in the town and the professor of German left. Parcels were sent to the soldiers and sailors and letters of thanks published in the local paper. Later, a tank appeared on the promenade.
Over a hundred men from Aberystwyth lost their lives in the Great War. This is the story of their town during those years.
William Troughton was born and raised in Aberystwyth. He has been employed at the National Library of Wales for over twenty years and written a number of books and articles on the history of his hometown.