On the outbreak of war Lord Kitchener asked Sir Edward Ward if he would look after the welfare of the many soldiers from overseas who were arriving to support Britain’s war effort. One idea Ward had was to ensure a supply of books and magazines for the camps and billets where the soldiers were stationed. At the end of 1914 he placed an appeal in the press for donations of literature and the Camps Library was born. The enterprise quickly outgrew its initial premises in Great Smith Street which had despatched 40,000 volumes to camps on Salisbury Plain and elsewhere. It eventually found larger and permanent premises at 45 Horseferry Road, provided courtesy of the Belgian Army. The warehouse had previously been occupied by Broadwood’s, the piano makers, and its reinforced floors were essential for the mountain of books that poured in from all sources, quickly reaching 75,000 a week. The Queen was an enthusiastic supporter as were many prominent authors including Rudyard Kipling, George Meredith, Arthur Conan Doyle, Marie Corelli, Hall Cain and John Galsworthy.1 The success of the enterprise meant that its activities were soon extended to encompass all British troops, both at home and abroad and, later still, prisoners of war in not only Germany but Austria, Bulgaria and Turkey as well as internees in Holland. Probably every camp, canteen and rest hut on the Western Front had its supply of Camps Library material. The war’s most famous cartoonist, Bruce Bairnsfather, produced advertisements for the Library and every parcel of books sent out contained postcards for the recipients to send home to friends and relatives to encourage further donations. Given his contacts, it is not surprising that Ward received support at the highest possible level. To keep distribution costs down he negotiated free postage for all donations with Herbert Samuel, at that time the Postmaster General; the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Church Lads’ Brigade helped in collection and distribution.