About the first two-thirds of Tommy's War: July, 1914 are set in Greenford, Middlesex. Most of the remainder is set in Paris. Both locations are used accurately and real people appear throughout.
The Hare & Hounds through history. Note the Skittle Alley to the right of the left-hand picture.
Greenford is now a busy outer suburb of West London, situated in the London Borough of Ealing. The population, excluding that of Perivale, is around forty-seven thousand now.
But, until the nineteen-twenties, it was essentially a semi-rural village in West Middlesex. Before the First World War of August, 1914 to November, 1918, the population was less than one thousand.
There had been some early attempts to promote industrialisation, notably with the Perkins dye works, a trailblazer in this aspect of chemical work, but real growth only began in the nineteen-twenties, notably with the opening of J Lyons & Co food factory in 1921. These and other industries were attracted by the good transport links provided by the Grand Union Canal and the Great Western Railway.
By its title, this book is set in the month before World War One, before Greenford's growth was small. Besides the Hare & Hounds, other locations of the time appear. These include the Red Lion Inn, Waxlow Farm, Muddy Lane (later renamed Allenby Road, after General Edmund Allenby, who fought on the Western Front, then Egypt and Palestine during WWI), Holy Cross Church, plus many more.