Odhams A.B.C. of the Great War is an encyclopaedic book about the First World War. It contains a contemporary mix of brief and descriptive entries relating to various and miscellaneous aspect of the war from a multitude of sources. It was meant to be used as a basic reference guide to the War. It contains reference to: people, locations and sea vessels. It is not a comprehensive listing as many locations have not been included and it does not contain slang terminology.
Message from the Author as written in 1919:
"All that is claimed for this work is that it is a compilation of the various miscellaneous accounts, articles, etc., which have been issued from day to day, carefully collated from newspapers, text-books, biographies, geographies, etc., etc., set out in alphabetical order, which it is hoped will be found of service as a guide to the war and as a book of reference.
"It has been my endeavour to put in very brief form everything that it is desirable to know relating to the war, and which one could have ascertained for oneself by perusing the various newspapers, book, etc., (not, however, always accessible), on the subject; but I have done it for you.
"I have not gone into past history, but have merely stated how the war commenced, who was in it, and the dates when, and the places where, each event in the war took place after the commencement of it.
"Germany's lust for world power, its aims at world domination, its intention to crush France and Russia and then Britain, taking the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife as its excuse for committing its horrible atrocities, is left to others to expound in full.
"I return my grateful acknowledgements to the proprietors of The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Morning Post, The Daily Mail, The Daily Chronicle, “he Daily Express, The Evening Standard, The Sunday Evening Telegram, The News of the world, The People, and the National News newspapers; and of Pear's Cyclopaedia, The daily Mail Year Book, Whotaker's Almanack, and various other works consulted, without the assistance of which I should have been unable to complete my labours."
- – E.W. Colbrook, Westminster, S.W. 1919