Ilkley and The Great War
15th December 2014
The Yorkshire spa town of Ilkley is a popular tourist destination famous for its moor and literature festival. It is less well known that Ilkley is a town with a rich military history. By 1914, army camps were a familiar sight along the River Wharfe. With the arrival of Belgian refugees, wounded soldiers and regiments from Leeds, many of the hotels and halls were adapted for new purposes. The war affected everybody through absence or loss of loved ones and changing political and social circumstances.
While those at home reacted to the challenges of this momentous time, Wharfedale men served in all of the major battles on the Western Front. Among these men were the Ilkley Territorials, a Howitzer Battery who served together throughout the war and kept detailed diaries of their experiences. In this book, authors Caroline Brown and Mark Hunnebell document the impact the First World War had on Ilkey and its residents using old photographs, newspaper articles and heartfelt diary entries.