North side of St Neots Market Square, about 1910
St Neots was a small rural market town on the River Great Ouse at the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. In 1911 the population of St Neots and Eynesbury was about 5,300, with another 7,500 people living in the surrounding rural area. The Eaton Socon area had a population of about 3,500 and was still in Bedfordshire at this time. Today the town has a population of about 38,000.
In 1914 many of the villages surrounding St Neots had very small populations, for example the village of Waresley had only 216 residents in 1901.