How the Pershore Plum Won the Great War

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More About This Title How the Pershore Plum Won the Great War


The First World War was won not just on battlefields but on the Home Front, by the men, women, and children left behind. This book explores the lives of the people and communities in Pershore and the surrounding district in wartime, drawing on their memories, letters, postcards, photographs, leaflets, and recipes to demonstrate the contribution of food, fruit, and vegetables to winning the Great War. Pershore plums were used to make jam for the troops; but ensuring plums and other fruits and vegetables were grown and harvested required the labor of land girls, boy scouts, schoolchildren, Irish laborers, and Belgium refugees. When submarine warfare became more intense, food shortages occurred and it became vital for Britain to grow more and eat less food. Housewives faced many challenges feeding their families and so in 1916 the Pershore Women’s Institute was formed, providing many women with practical help and companionship during some of Britain’s darkest hours in history.


Maggie Andrews is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Worcester, with a keen interest in the Home Front in Britain in both World Wars, on which she has published a range of books and articles. She is the Historical Consultant for the BBC Radio series Home Front, adviser to the BBC in the West Midlands on their World War One at Home Project, and is a member of the Women’s History Network. She lives in Pershore, Worcestershire.