The catastrophe that was 'The Great War' of 1914 to 1918, was considered to be so dreadful that it was soon dubbed "the war to end all wars"! Of course, this was most certainly not to be the case, as Liverpool, Merseyside, and the people of the region were to discover. This is the story of those people, and of their courage, during both World Wars of the 20th century.
The women, children, and particularly the men of Merseyside, played heroic roles in both wars, at home and abroad.
These conflicts left marks on them, as well as scars on the landscape of the towns and cities of the region. This talk tells that story.
Beginning with the assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo in 1914, Ken describes the outbreak of the First World War and of the formation of regiments of soldiers that were named the 'Liverpool and Cheshire Pals'.
These were the young men who signed up to fight on land, sea, and in the air, and who suffered and died as a result, but who were ultimately victorious though at great cost.
Ken then tells of the promise of a better life in the 1920s and 30s, which did not come true for the majority of Merseysiders, and then of the rise of European fascism.
In the next part of the story Ken describes how Merseysiders once again served in theatres of war around the world. He also tells of how Liverpool, and its dockers and transport workers, were able to prevent Britain starving as the port received the convoys of ships from North America and the Empire, and distributed their cargoes around the country. Ken then describes the evacuation of the City's children and how Merseyside became the most heavily-bombed part of Britain, as Hitler tried to wipe us off the face of the earth.
This is a story of service, sacrifice, and suffering, but is also one of great fortitude, dedication, and heroism.