Photo: Troops of the Army Cyclists Corps advancing along a road during training in Richmond Park, 1915 © IWM (Q 53678)
Join us as we uncover how the Royal Parks were put to use between 1914 and 1919 – as vegetable patches, camouflage experiments, places of mourning and celebration, and much else.
From May 2017 to early 2020, we’ll be exploring the Royal Parks' First World War history through a programme of events, community and school activities and research.
Find out what happened to the men who went to war from the parks and the women who took on new roles at home. Discover how the Royal Parks’ wartime work influenced the rest of the world.
The Royal Parks in the Great War
The Royal Parks Guild's publication 'The Royal Parks in the Great War' (compiled by David Ivison) is now available to download.
As hostilities with Germany were becoming inevitable the British Government began to take action to prepare itself for war. The parks were immediately utilised for recruitment rallies, transport staging posts, aerial defence and temporary accommodation. Throughout the War more and more demands were placed upon the parks. This led to questions being raised in the House of Commons about the amount of land being used for military activity to the detriment of the public enjoyment. Even at the end of the War the parks continued to host a legacy of temporary buildings and allotments well into the 1920s, much to the annoyance of local Members of Parliament who pressed for a return to parkland.
This new publication gives a glimpse into how the parks were used in the Great War and how they played their part. It also tells the stories of the 24 men of the Royal Parks who died while serving their country and to whom this book is dedicated.
None right now, but we'll be back in the new year!