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Title: Establishing and managing the British Empire's forestry effort during the First World War
Author: Newman, Robert W. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 8567
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2018
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Wood was one of the most, if not the most, important materials required to enable the First World War to continue being fought. Without it the mines and factories of the Home Front would have stopped producing and the Western Front could not have existed. The unprecedented amounts of forest produce suddenly required for wartime uses had to be met in the UK by a government, forestry profession and timber trade massively under-prepared and hugely over-reliant on imports. However, even though these supplies were largely successfully maintained throughout the war, no single history has illustrated all of the many facets required to achieve this, or the effects these had on woodlands and forestry practices. The initial tasks in correcting this lack of knowledge has been to establish who instigated and managed the British Empire's forestry efforts and the measures they took to ensure adequate supplies for the British Home and Western Fronts. It is these initial 'top-down' areas of the broader questions relating to the wartime forestry work that this thesis covers. Although, in regards to some aspects of the British war effort, arguments have been made that appropriate civilian expertise was not well utilised, it is argued here that what forestry expertise was available to the British Empire was suitably used in both civilian and military controlled roles. Based largely on primary high level governmental and military sources, with secondary sources providing contextual and comparative information, this thesis has developed into a largely administrative study illustrating that management structures were gradually rationalised and centralised, therefore avoiding large amounts of confusion and duplication. Furthermore that the measures used, such as introducing permit schemes to buy or sell timber and utilising ever-increasing amounts of French woodlands, were sensible and workable given the wider context of the war. Although concerns were raised over the post-war state of UK and French forests, maintenance of supplies largely took priority.
Supervisor: Connelly, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available