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Centenary publication about Parliament and the First World War

'Duty and Democracy: Parliament and the First World War' has been produced especially for the centenary of the First World War. The publication reveals the key role Parliament played in the conflict, including the various legislation passed that affected the strategy of the war and influenced wider social changes in this period. It also explores the sacrifice and service of Parliamentarians and staff who fought during the war.

Profiles of Parliamentarians and staff

D.D. Sheehan

Irish Nationalist who was the founding member of the All-for-Ireland-League Party. Sheehan served on the Western Front along with six other Irish Nationalist MPs.

Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart

Conservative Member for Cardiff killed fighting with the Welsh Battalion.

Sir Philip Sassoon MP

Cousin of Siegfried Sassoon and secretary to Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

Lord Crawford

The first Lord to enlist as a private and the only Cabinet Minister to serve in the ranks during the First World War. In 1915 he was recalled to London and offered a Ministerial post but decided not to accept and joined the Royal Medical Corps dealing with front line casualties and operations.

Thomas Edmund Harvey MP

Liberal Member for Leeds and conscientious objector who enabled the 'conscientious objector clause' to be included in the Military Service Act 1916 that introduced conscription.

John Norton Griffiths MP

The key figure behind the strategy of tunnel warfare and the recruitment of 20,000 miners to the front.

James Craig MP

Irish Unionist who helped to form the 36th Ulster Division and became the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

Margaret Haig Thomas

Suffragette, daughter of an MP, survived the sinking of the Lusitania, promoted women's work during the war. She became a hereditary female peer in her own right and fought a famous test case in an attempt to take her seat in the House of Lords.

Girl porters (messengers)

Employed in the House of Commons by the Serjeant-at-Arms department to deliver mail between offices during labour shortages in the First World War.

William Leveson-Gower

Clerk in the House of Lords who served in the Coldstream Guards and was killed right at the end of the war.

Will Thorne

Labour MP for West Ham and one of the leading Trade Union figures of the 19th and 20th centuries, establishing the National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers. He was a founding member of the Labour Party and served with the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Essex Regiment on the home front.

Lives of the First World War

Parliament has partnered with Lives of the First World War to helpbring material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place. Help IWMlink together items you may haveto start telling the stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front.

Find out more