During the First World War a knitting craze swept across Britain, as women everywhere wanted to kit out their Tommies with socks, mittens, balaclavas, vests, jumpers and all manner of knitwear — some more graciously received than others. Millions of socks were sent from the home front to the fighting fronts in a bid to wage war on the dreaded trench foot, and thoughtful knitters would often tuck a love note or simple message into parcels to offer extra cheer to the soldier far from home. Knitting for Tommy explores the knitting craze through magazine adverts, postcards, cartoons and photographs of the day, as well as offering a guide to kitting out your own First World War Tommy using original knitting patterns.
Lucinda Gosling is a historian working at the Mary Evans Picture Library. Her books include Debutantes and the London Season, Royal Coronations, and Brushes and Bayonets: Cartoons, sketches and paintings of World War I. She is also the author of Great War Britain: The First World War at Home, published in hardback by The History Press at £25.
Natasha Devon’s event is available to watch on YouTube or on @PanMacmillan Instagram TV channel until 24 June and she will be doing a live Q & A on Monday 1 June at 6 pm on Pan Macmillan’s Instagram channel. You can order Natasha’s book by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8552 9993.
Are you locked down with children in years 5 or 6? We have four lessons for classroom or family use developed from On the Record’s oral history project centered around Newham Bookshop, Writing and Reading Newham. Click here for full details.
Michael Rosen’s poem, These Are The Hands, features in a book of poems from the heart of the NHS, which has just been published.