Portobello grew from a settlement founded around 1750 on the Figgate
Whins, a desolate area of scrubland 3 miles east of Edinburgh. It took its
name from Puerta Bella, the port in Panama that was captured from
Spain by the British in 1739 and is best known as a popular beach resort.
What is less well-known is that during the First World War it was home to
thousands of British troops, some of whom were billeted in a former
pleasure garden and others in a chocolate factory. The story of wartime
Portobello makes for fascinating reading. Many Portobello residents lost
their lives in the conflict, and are now commemorated by memorial
monuments throughout the town.
Life on the Home Front changed a great deal for Portobello’s residents.
Troops for a new Edinburgh battalion were recruited from an office in
Portobello and, for its size; the town sent an impressive number of men
and women to serve in the war. In Portobello and the Great War, authors
Archie Foley and Margaret Munro document the impact of the First World
War on day-to-day life in Portobello, including a selection of old
photographs to show how the conflict left its mark on the people and
places around the area, and personal heart-felt diary entries from the era.
235 x 165 mm | paperback | 128 pages | 50 illustrations