Much has been written about the physical side of the Great War, with graphic descriptions of flooded trenches, glutinous mud, unrelenting shelling, vicious barbed wire and the extreme suffering of both Allied and German troops. However, historians have paid less attention to the embryonic and emerging electronic technology that completely revolutionised the conduct of the Great War and would also dictate the pattern and strategies for all wars to come. This technology began life in London’s Lea Valley at Ponders End, Enfield, and it can be claimed that the region is the birthplace of the post-industrial revolution—the technological revolution. While this was a world-changing event in media and communications terms, the technology was soon adopted by the military authorities to develop new strategies in the killing fields of Europe and beyond.
This book investigates not only how this new electronic technology changed the course of the Great War but also examines the major contribution of other Lea Valley industries to the war effort and highlights an overlooked region of Britain that helped to create our modern world.
London’s Lea Valley and the Great War by Jim Lewis. Published by Libri Publishing, 2014. 95 pages; 30cm. ISBN 978-1-909818-37-8.