Open the pages of any wartime book and the great battles of the First World War will be brought to life, in fact, the war at home and the struggle for women and children are also subject to stories, projects and discussion.

However, there is one community, little written about and largely forgotten now, that were the subject of great debate on the streets of the capital during the war.

This week, reporter Zoie O’Brien looks at the lives of Germans in East London.

Thousands of Germans settled in the East End, married British women, fathered children and opened thriving businesses.

In fact, the majority of the 50,000 Germans in the UK at the outbreak of war, are thought to have lived in the capital.

Remembered by a handful of photographs and living in the memories of descendants, the story of Germans in Waltham Forest and surrounding boroughs is being told by a new project.

Eastside Community Heritage (ECH) launches ‘Little Germany, Stratford and East London 1914’ this month, allowing people the chance to explore the experiences of German ‘East enders’.

Stories told by relatives of Germans include one woman witnessing a dog being kicked to death because of its owners’ nationality.

In 1914 ‘Germonophobia’ gripped the capital.

Propelled by war propaganda and street whispers – neighbours began to turn on each other.

In Waltham Forest, Germans wrote to the local paper to explain their heritage and their devotion to Britain.

JH Buck, a Belgian-born baker, wrote an advert in the local stating that he had been in the UK since 1887 and had married a British woman.

Others were forced to fight ‘rumours’ of German connections.

But, when Cunard ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk off the coast of Ireland, the streets of Leytonstone became unsafe.

A crowd of around 2,000 attacked German-owned shops all along the High Street.

The anti-German riots spread across the East End.

All Germans living in Britain, of military age, were registered by the government – but in Stratford, some were held against their will.

The project by ECH has revealed that on December 15, 1914 a small group of German civilians were led to Ritchie and Sons, an old jute factory on Carpenter’s Road in Stratford, adjacent to the current site of the Olympic Park.

It was home for the next four years.

Police came and collected them from their homes and with no warning – took them from their families.

In fact there were 150 of these camps set up across the UK, including 18 in London.

Up to 1000 men were kept in the internment camp which was rife with disease and according to some families the men were badly treated by guards.

The factory was deserted in 1905 and the camp was supposed to be a short term holding space before men were moved on.

Descendants of those living their say it held the worst reputation amongst Germans; described by one internee as a ‘veritable hell’.

The ECH project ‘Little Germany Stratford and East London 1914’ will come to Walthamstow Library on October 22 between 7pm and 9pm.