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Lead book review

Carnage on the home front: revisiting a forgotten disaster of the first world war

Brian Dillon in The Great Explosion finds a cure for his depression researching a devastating explosion in a Kent munitions factory that killed 109 men and boys

9 May 2015

9:00 AM

9 May 2015

9:00 AM

The Great Explosion: Gunpowder, the Great War and the Anatomy of a Disaster on the Kentish Marshes Brian Dillon

Penguin, pp.274, £18.99

The story is an interesting one. Gunpowder had to be manufactured. In 1916 one of the places dedicated to the dangerous and difficult task was remote Kent. A fire broke out and led to a series of huge explosions. Deaths and injuries were not widely specified at the time for reasons of morale, but 109 men and boys were killed.

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