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Redditch at War

Alan Foxall and Ray Saunders

From the time of the Civil War – when the town barely existed – to the Luftwaffe bombing raids of World War Two, Redditch has had a long history of conflict. Now Alan Foxall and Ray Saunders, authors of Breedon's Redditch Remembered, have compiled a fascinating collection of photographs to give a vivid image of life in this Worcestershire town through both world wars and earlier.

From 1794, when the Worcestershire Yeomanry was formed, through the Boer War, the young men of Reddict served their country faithfully. The outbreak of War World One was greeted with enthusiasm by the town as a flood of volunteers rushed to join up. Sadly many of the town’s young men never returned home.

In 1939 Chamberlain’s declaration of warbrought an influx of evacuees to Worcestershire and the industrial life of the town changed dramatically. Redditch became a significant contributor to war production as new factories sprang up and old factories were switched to war work in an effort to meet the increasing demands of the War Office. Consequently the town was considered a viable target by the Luftwaffe and suffered severe bomb damage during the Blitz. When peace was eventually declared the town celebrated with street parties, carnivals and much rejoicing.




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