First world war talks in Midhurst library

The light and airy Midhurst library attracting many newcomers
The light and airy Midhurst library attracting many newcomers

THE latest in a series of World War One talks will be taking place at Midhurst Library in April.

Martin Hayes, county local studies librarian, will be examining Midhurst’s home front activities at the library on April 15 from 7pm.

His talk – Great War West Sussex 1914-18: The Home Front, Civilians at War – is part of a series of events taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war.

Martin said: “I’ll be talking about the contribution local people made to the war efforts, for example, German prisoners-of-war unloading coal at Midhurst railway station became a common sight in 1918 as labour shortages grew.

“Drunkenness became less prevalent during the war, with Midhurst magistrates reporting only one case of drunkenness in a year from February, 1917.

“And, on September 25, 1916, a German Zeppelin, the L31, flew over Midhurst following its attack on Portsmouth naval base, emphasising the county’s, and the town’s, vulnerable front-line position.

“There are many other stories like these which I look forward to sharing.

“I’ll also be covering a whole host of issues – from munitions production to agriculture and food.”

The talk will start at 7pm on April 15 at Midhurst library, in The Grange Leisure Centre. Tickets cost £3 each.

Tickets are available from the library by calling 01730 716671 during opening hours.