In early 1914 Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport were there proud, separate and distinct towns, each with their own authority. However the prospect of war prompted the proposal that they be amalgamated, and so it was, despite fierce opposition from Devonport Corporation, that the three were joined by Act of Parliament on 1 November 1914.
War, by then, was under way and there had already been significant losses on land and at sea. The unified township was unique in Britain in having bases for all three armed services at the start of the war and all four by the end of it. One consequence of this was that Plymouth suffered more casualties and more pain than its peers and many new schools were adapted as makeshift hospitals.