Families and relationships
in Civvies
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Networks of family and friends were extremely important to middle-class men, and became even more so during the war. This chapter considers the disruption caused to such networks by the war, focusing particularly on the impact of relatives' and friends' absence while on active service. It examines the impact of war on family relationships. The chapter assesses whether the conflict brought about changes, or indeed, challenges to the established role and authority of the paterfamilias. It focuses on one particular relationship: that between fathers and sons, and particularly civilian fathers and combatant sons. It was the patriotic duty of every fit young man to volunteer his services to the armed forces, the reality of sons leaving for military service hit many middle-class fathers hard. The chapter discusses whether wartime experiences and events led to a renegotiation of roles and responsibilities across generations.


Middle-class men on the English Home Front, 1914–18


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