About the Project

Romsey Boys in The Great War© is an historical record of the men from Romsey that served in the Armed Forces during the First World War. Through extensive research, the book aims to record the wartime experience of these men and shed light on their service during one of the most destructive conflicts known to mankind. These were for the great part farm labourers, draymen, postmen, jam boilers, butchers, railway men, shop keepers or carters, in addition to those from the middle classes and the gentry who formed the first citizen army this country had produced. Few of these men would have considered becoming professional soldiers or sailors in peace time.

Over one thousand four hundred men from Romsey saw active service on the land, sea and in the air, in the trenches of the Western Front, on the North Sea and the Aegean, to the hostile deserts of Palestine and Mesopotamia. Their stories are all different and unique, but we have tried to make them as personal as possible and to tell them in context with their civilian lives before the war. By way of some examples;

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Which Romsey Boy won the Distinguished Conduct Medal for taking on enemy snipers from only fifty yards range and also received the Military Medal for rushing a German machine gun?

Which regular soldier was wounded and lay for a day and a night in a shell hole with five dead Germans for company?

Who were the boy soldiers from Romsey?

Which family lost most of its six sons during the conflict?

Who was the Boer War veteran who re-enlisted immediately on the outbreak of war at nearly fifty years of age?

Which old soldiers turned cattle ranchers paid their own fares from Canada and Australia respectively to re-enlist in Romsey?

We hope that our book will encourage further interest and research into the subject of Romsey and the First World War.