World War I could easily be described as ‘the first great war of words’. When primary schooling was made compulsory in Britain in 1880, the literacy of the general population increased markedly. Those born in the years after the Education Act of 1880 were the first generation of British children who all received at least a basic education. They were also, of course, those who would grow up to experience the events of 1914-1918. Due in large part to the relatively new phenomenon of mass literacy, the First World War was a highly textual conflict.
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