Britain's Jews in the First World War
- Paula Kitching
15th February 2019
This book tells the story of the Jewish community, of its individuals and its groups, who contributed to the First World War. It describes the experiences of some of those who served and the impact the war had on the community and its members, and explores some of the uniquely Jewish experiences and questions that the war raised: for example, how do you stay kosher on the front line?
In August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Immediately following the declaration, an appeal went out for volunteers to join the army. Despite a huge global empire and large navy, Britain had a small professional army. The Jewish communities of Britain stepped up in response, providing well over 40,000 men for the forces and thousands more for activities on the home front. The Jewish community was a small ethnic-religious minority but one that was prepared to stand up and be counted.
The stories and experiences of Britain’s Jewry and the First World War is the story of how a community often viewed as outsiders became very much entwined with British society. This book shows how British society and culture became very much a part of the Anglo-Jewish experience and identity.