A new exhibiton is on at Leytonstone library detailing everyday life during The Great War

The L31 airship was one of the bombers to hit Waltham Forest

Bomb damage near to Leyton Midland Station

Bomb damage in St. Augustine's Church, Leytonstone

Graham Millington from the Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society

Chichester Road Peace Party 1919

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

An exhibition is detailing what life was like in Leytonstone during the First World War.

The show at Leytonstone libarary in Church Lane features the zeppelin bombers which accidentally hit Leytonstone, the High Road riots and the devastating Spanish Flu which killed many of the borough’s mothers.

Using old copies of the Express and Independent newspapers and court documents, the Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society has complied compiled the exhibits to mark the centenary of the conflict.

Graham Millington, 62, was one of a team of seven involved in the project, which began in January.

“I wanted to show how events happening on a global scale impacted the residents of Leytonstone,” he said.

“It was the stories of the families that had the most impact on me, I think. I was finding out about families who had lost two sons and a father or had all of their sons sent to war.

“The riots that happened in Leytonstone are interesting too and they are little known about.

They spread from the Thatched House pub to Harrow Road and on to Church Lane.”

Riots broke out across London during the war when residents attacked German owned shops after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in May 1915.

In Leytonstone High Road shops owned by Germans were attacked by a crowd of around 2,000.

Despite businessmen such as JH Buck, a Belgian-born baker, writing an advert in the local newspaper months before explaining that he had been in the UK since 1887 and had married a British woman, rioters showed no mercy.

Mr Buck’s shop was ransacked.

More research from the society uncovered a list of businesses run in the area during the war, which included a military water bottle manufacturers, cabinet makers and underwear shops.

The project also reveals facts about life at home for women and children.

In 1914, only 79 houses were built in Leytonstone and rent for a six-bedroom property at that time was around £43 per month.

The society also discovered that a gun club was established behind the Red Lion in High Road.

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