VOLUNTEERS from Malvern Museum have been burrowing deep in the archives of century-old Malvern Gazettes to create a booklet about the opening months of the First Wold War.

The booklet, Malvern in the Great War 1914, covers a wide range of topics as is looks at how local people reacted to the onset of conflict.

Faith Renger of the museum said: "It has been humbling to read of the sacrifices that so many men, women and children were willing to make in the heady and unstable days of the war.

"Men were 'cheered lustily' by groups of Malvern College girls as they marched to the railway station to begin their preliminary army training.

"One 18-year-old girl wrote to the Gazette criticising the 'flannelled fools' who continued to saunter around Malvern and who clearly had 'no soul above their sport or colour of their socks'.

"Girlfriends and mothers were urged to send their men folk to war, in the belief that these men had the highest honour to be 'born into the world as Britishers' at this time.

"Schoolchildren collected vegetables and saved up their pennies for tobacco and chocolate to send to the troops. Hard-pressed mothers took over their husbands' businesses, or joined knitting and garment-making groups. Other women gave their time supporting Red Cross activities and entering the nursing profession."

The booklet also covers the leadership of well-known families such as the Lygons and the Lechmeres, panic buying of food, the treatment of local people of German or Austrian descent, and much more.

Volunteers at the museum in Abbey Road have also created displays about various facets of the war, including military training, fundraising to support refugees, supporting the troops at the front with food and clothing parcels, and the Red Cross hospitals.

The full-colour 36 page booklet goes on sale at Malvern Museum tomorrow (Saturday, August 2) priced £4.50. The museum is open daily from 10.30am to 5pm until the end of October.