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Invasion !

Image - Royal Welsh Fusilieers on Therfield Heath

Between September 1914 and May 1915 up to 5,000 men passed through the town on their way to the front lines, at one point nearly doubling its population.

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Royston’s use

Image - Map of Royston

Different buildings were commandeered to house troops or to act a activity centres such as mess halls and meeting rooms. Some were to play a prolonged part in supporting troops throughout the war.

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Soldier’s hospital

Image - Staff from Royston's Auxiliary Hospital

The Auxiliary Hospital received its first patients in March 1915 and by the time it closed in December 1918, had cared for over 2,400 men.

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Fundraising

Image - Fundraising with Donkey and Barrel Organ

Fundraising gave those still at home a direct link with those who were putting themselves in harms way and preserved a sense of common goals. While only modest amounts were collected from each event, when added to those from all over the country they amounted to a considerable sum.

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The children’s war

Image - Children from Huntingdon Terrace, Royston

It is not often realised how difficult life became for the children who had to deal with disruption to their families as well as their daily lives.

Of course, there ws also a great deal of excitement with the arrival of the billetted troops.

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Home on leave

Image - Men on leave at Xmas 1917

This photograph, taken in Stamford's Yard on Boxing Day 1917, was to a great extent the inspiration for the What Royston Did project. Seeing photographs like this encouraged the team to learn more.

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News of the war

Image - Newspapr advert in Royston Crow

The newspaper for Royston at that time was the “Herts and Cambs Reporter” which incorporated the “Royston Crow”. The masthead above greeted readers during the period covered by the Great War and the paper was reduced to four broadsheet sized pages, although it was still published weekly.

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Life goes on

Image - Special Constables at the Old Bull, Royston

Daily life in the town did not cease to function during the conflict. In some respects it carried on as it always had. In other ways it was changed forever and some of the aspects of life which were altered because of the war are still with us today.

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