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Boomkat Product Review:
This double disc, fourth volume of songs and sketches recorded during the First World War paints quite a picture of life at home and in the theatre of conflict. Songs include diatribes on the tedium of plum & apple jam during rationing for the troops. "Jam for breakfast, jam for tea / but we never get a bit of strawberry" yearns Fred Hilton at the beginning of the first disc. I suppose some wartime hardships are less well documented than others: apparently it's one thing to be shot at in rat-filled trenches, but quite another to have your spreads interfered with. This compilation just delivers a cavalcade of bizarre, and often quite poignant period information that you'd tend not to encounter in history books. In addition to being often very funny and sometimes very sad, this archive material (sourced from 78s and wax cylinders) paints a vivid picture of certain aspects of life at war you wouldn't necessarily hear much about via traditional documentation. Of course, these comic pieces also say a great deal about the spirit of wartime Britain, and the continual need to reinforce patriotic values whilst also providing a little light relief in an era when such a profound and devastating loss of human life was ravaging the globe. As with all the brilliantly put together, impeccably presented CD41 releases, this comes very highly recommended.