Along with most of the United Kingdom the railway town of Crewe was affected in many ways during the four years of the Great War. The struggle brokered conflict and co-operation in this industrial community planted in the rural acres of Cheshire by the Grand Junction Railway Company in 1843. A military tradition dating back to the town's earliest decades helps to explain the eager response by the young men of Crewe when war was declared in 1914. A rapid increase in the cost of living along with accusations of blatant profiteering soon generated demands for regular wage rises. This conflict between organised labour and industrial and commercial management was more marked in Crewe than elsewhere in the region. Other features of wartime Crewe that are covered in this book are conscription, Zeppelin scares, food shortages, rationing, regular biographical details of those that were killed, the Christmas truce of 1914, influenza epidemics and the division of opinion over a suitable war memorial. These are just some of the issues that affected Crewe during the troubled years of the Great War.
Peter Ollerhead worked as draughtsman at Rolls-Royce until 1966 when he trained as a teacher. While employed in education he obtained an MA at Keele University by researching an aspect of the history of Crewe. In addition he regularly broadcasts on Premier Radio as well as serving for many years as director of programmes for the local hospital radio. For the past forty years Peter has traded in second-hand books with a shop in Crewe. As a keen local historian he chairs the Crewe & District Local History Association. This is his seventh book.