HORDES crammed into the Arts Centre last night to hear from former war correspondent Kate Adie.

The top-billed star at this year’s festival was a sell-out weeks in advance.

Hundreds swarmed to hear more about the BBC veteran’s take on the work women did on the Home Front during the First World War as they stepped away from their traditional roles to answer to the needs of the country.

Kate said: “I feel passionate about this subject and I think it’s something that everyone is interested in and has some connection with especially in this centenary year, and all this information comes from local newspapers.

“I would really encourage anyone to go and look in their archives to find out about what happened in their town during the war, and I bet they will find some of those names mentioned will have families still here today.”

It is not the first time Kate has been to the Swindon Festival of Literature and the best-selling author was glad to be back.

She said: “I have been to the Swindon Festival of Literature several times and it’s nice to be back so close to my old stomping ground near where I worked in Bristol local radio.”

Following her talk, Kate gave audience members an opportunity to ask questions, ranging from whether the work women did prolonged the First World War, to the impact the change had culturally on what women did in other countries.

To find out more about how women’s work making gunpowder and planting potatoes propelled them into the 20th century, read Kate’s book, Fighting on the Home Front.