Boots exclusive: Remembering the 700 employees who died in the wars

In this exclusive interview, Boots’ Assistant Archivist delves into the history of the high street retailer through the wars, remembering the fallen and families affected

Married women were recruited by Boots to fill gaps created because of the conflict

Thomas Bell

Boots, the health and beauty retailer, was founded in Nottingham in 1849.

But amid the fast pace of retail consumerism that dominates perceptions in 2019, it's easy to forget the rich history that the high street chain has lived through and represents.

During the wars, 700 Boots employees lost their lives while serving in the military. It's a stark figure that the retailer continues to remember and commemorate with every passing year.

Here, Boots’ Assistant Archivist and Records Manager Thomas Bell remembers the fallen and shares the retailer’s wartime history with Cosmetics Business.

What does your role involve as Assistant Archivist and Records Manager?

I’m part of a team that’s responsible for caring for a vast collection of items and objects that tell the story of how Boots has grown and developed since it was founded in Nottingham 170 years ago.

We use the collection for a . . .

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