Horace Platt and his family were typical of the developing middle class in Surrey on the eve of the Great War. Horace was an advertising agent. He and his family lived in comfort in Hook Heath, Woking. They owned their house, had a car, went on holidays and their three children had a nurse.

In contrast family life for the lower orders could be hard and people found work where they could. In the 1911 census Arthur Thomas Perrin of Hersham (near Esher) was listed as a dental mechanic in a factory, but by 1914 he had become a labourer. He, his wife Georgina and their five young children were admitted to Chertsey workhouse several times over the summer of 1914. Entering the workhouse would have been the last resort but many struggling families had no other option. The Perrin family also had to come to terms with the loss of three of their eight children.

Part of the Last Summer display

Further Reading

The Last Summer: Surrey on the Eve of the Great War
Family Life 1
In the News
School Life
Sport and Leisure
The Outbreak of War
Women’s Suffrage

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