The story of Plymouth in the First World War has never been fully covered although the town played a key role in the deployment of troops to Northern Europe as well as supplying ships and vital munitions. By August 1914, the British War office had moved 120,000 men into the town. Plymouth became the principal base for military operations and was one of the most important of the southern shipping ports. The town also played a vital role caring for the many wounded soldiers who returned home from the front. The effect of the war on Plymouth was great. By the end of the conflict, there wasn't a family in Plymouth who hadn't lost a son, father, nephew, uncle or brother. There were tremendous celebrations in the streets as the end of the war was announced but the effects of the war lasted for years to come.
Derek Tait is a full-time author who lives in Plymouth. Born in 1961, he lived his early years in Singapore and Malaysia and has written several books about his time there, including 'Sampans, Banyans and Rambutans'. A former photographer and cartoonist, his work has been featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. A keen historian, his books include '1950s Childhood,' 'A 1970s Childhood,' 'Butlins An Illustrated History' and 'Houdini the British Tours' as well as many books in the 'Through Time' series for Amberley Publishing.He has also written many local history books including 'Plymouth,' 'Plymouth at War,' 'Saltash Passage,' 'St Budeaux,' 'Plymouth Hoe,' 'Mount Edgcumbe,' 'Saltash,' 'Memories of St Budeaux,' 'Plymouth Tales From the Past' and 'Images of Plymouth.