ALMOST every family lost a son, in nearly every street at least one house would be in mourning.

The First World War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with the total number of military and civilian casualties put at more than 37 million.

When Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, many reckoned it would all be over by Christmas. But over the next four years, ferocious battles including those of Gallipoli, the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele and the resulting devastating loss of life, brought the horrors of war into every home.

This year marks the centenary of the start of the Great War and The Westmorland Gazette wants to tell the stories of the local reservists, territorials and the ordinary men on the street, who answered the call to arms to serve their King and country.

Many men who signed up had probably never been more than 20 miles from home – and they had no idea of the human slaughter that was to unfold before their eyes.

If your grandfather or great grandfather fought in the First World War, The Wetmorland Gazette wants to hear their story.

If you have photographs of them or their regiments, we would like to share them with readers.

If your grandmother told tales of how life was in the towns, villages and farms of Westmorland and north Lancashire with all the menfolk gone and how they managed in their daily lives, we want to know about it.

We want to remember the men and women, heroes all, who were caught up in this horrific war and who sacrificed their lives, or, thankfully, made it back home to their families.

Please send your stories or photographs to, or telephone 01539 710156.