Many troops passed through Southampton on their way to the Western Front and it played a vital role as a staging post for departing troops and those returning badly injured. Many of men from Southampton also joined up and the enormity of human sacrifice that the families of Southampton were committed to as the war stretched out over the next four years was immense. The Great War affected everyone. At home there were wounded soldiers in military hospitals, refugees from Belgium and later on German prisoners of war. There were food and fuel shortages and disruption to schooling. The role of women changed dramatically and they undertook a variety of work undreamed of in peacetime. Meanwhile, men serving in the armed forces were scattered far and wide. Extracts from contemporary letters reveal their heroism and give insights into what it was like under battle conditions.