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Diary of Sir Rowland Whitehead, July 1916

Sir Rowland Edward Whitehead (1863-1942) was the Liberal MP for South East Essex, 1906-1910 and was a member of the Committee on Work of National Importance, 1916-1919, at the time of the Battle of the Somme. The committee was established in March 1916 to advise upon the type of work that conscientious objectors to the war could undertake as an alternative to entering military service, and Whitehead comments upon his work at the committee alongside his other role as a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn.

Whitehead's son, Major Sir Philip Whitehead, fought in the Battle of the Somme in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was wounded during the course of the war. Throughout the conflict, Whitehead lists in his diary the names of friends and acquaintances who were killed or injured in the course of the fighting, alongside the latest casualty numbers.