Hertfordshire Children in War and Peace, 1914-1939 by David J. Parker
David Parker's new book is a social history of Hertfordshire from the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 to the outbreak of the Second in 1939, with a particular emphasis on the development of education and attitudes towards the young. The period in question shows the people of Hertfordshire going through astonishing change as war and social upheaval convulsed the county. Being so close to London and yet possessing extensive countryside, during World War I Hertfordshire became virtually one vast training and transit camp. The county also endured German raids. Families and schools suffered significant hardships, and an engrossing story of social trauma and economic turmoil unfolds. The twenties and thirties saw Hertfordshire emerge from Victorian values into the modern world as urban prosperity boomed and rural depression deepened. These were decades of vivid contrasts and significant tensions across the county as rival social groups, political parties, employers and unions strove to make their voices heard. Among the subjects looked at in detail are the direct effect of military conflict on the county; the evolving situation for children both at school and at work; public health; rural protectionism; the rise of vocationalism in urban schools; and the controversy over Hertfordshire church schools. Taken together, this book makes a significant contribution to the history of Hertfordshire in the twentieth century.