The First World War and the ELL boroughs: the 100th anniversary


Logo: Lily Southin


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Known as The Great War, the conflict claimed 18 million lives and spanned all seven continents.

In its wake, the war left a legacy of death and destruction that would be felt for generations to come; eventually leading to another world war.

To mark this anniversary, East London Lines has looked at the impact the war had on the four boroughs.

Thousands of men from the boroughs fought on the battlefields and many back home felt the full force of the conflict. The war brought the first ever aerial bombings over London and the ethical concerns over the war led to the emergence of conscientious objectors.

Here is what life was like in the four boroughs during World War One.

Day 1The First Blitz: how the bombs fell on the ELL boroughs

In 1915 the German strategic bombing began against England. Over 50 bombing raids took place over the country during the four years killing more than 1,300 and injuring over 3,300. The bombing campaign caused great damage to Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham and Croydon. ELL looks at the impact these raids had on the four boroughs.

Day 2: Remembering the fallen

East London Lines remembers those who sacrificed their lives during the First World War through a database containing their names, ages, rank and, in some cases, addresses.

Day 3: The men who said no: conscientious objectors from the boroughs

A look back at the conscientious objectors who came forward from the four boroughs. ‘Conscription and Conscience’ illustrates the birth and struggle of these individuals.

By Jamie Burnett, Anisha De and Sam Corner

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