In 1914 Torquay was the crown jewel of the English Riviera, long the haunt of the rich and famous but this status was not to last.
The Great War of 1914-1918 brought a shuddering end to this golden period in amongst the blood and mud of the Western Front as hundreds of Torquinians gave their lives in the fight against the Kaiser.
This book documents the town's experience, both militarily and socially through the extensive use of previously unpublished letters from those who served, by following the career of General Sir Herbert Plumer, commander of the British Second Army and native Torquinian and by featuring a detailed analysis of the home front throughout the war.
In doing so it challenges many of the war's myths including the idea of war enthusiasm in 1914, widespread opposition to the war and the old myth of lions led by donkeys.
In doing so it reveals the extent to which even a small town such as Torquay contributed to the war effort and how much the war permanently changed Torquay.