First World War centenary: Realities of the war to be highlighted during month of themed library talks

The experiences of both the soldiers who fought in the First World War and those who remained back home are set to be marked this month.

From author talks to a drama performance for schoolchildren, libraries across the borough will be hosting events in conjunction with Cityread London - an annual scheme to promote reading.

Its theme for 2014 is the First World War to tie in with the conflict’s centenary this year.

Redbridge’s catalogue of events will kick off at Wanstead Library, Spratt Hall Road, on Tuesday evening with a talk by bestselling author Adele Parks on her latest book Spare Brides.

The novel examines the stories of four women living in Britain after the war.

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Later in the month, the venue will host a discussion on how women in Redbridge and other London boroughs contributed to the war effort.

The role of the British colonial forces will be highlighted at Goodmayes Library, Goodmayes Lane, and Redbridge Central Library, in Clements Road, Ilford, will be the venue for a discussion on how Londoners spent their leisure time during the war.

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All three of these talks will be delivered by information and heritage librarian Ian Dowling.

Schoolchildren are also set to be entertained by a performance inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s bestselling children’s book Private Peaceful, which is one of two titles the scheme will be encouraging people to read.

The other is adult novel My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “This year’s series of events are particularly exciting, not just because they are all of an exceptionally high quality, but also because they all follow the theme of the First World War.

“We would encourage everyone to get involved in this superb initiative.”

For more information on events at your library, give them a call or visit

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