in Civvies
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Writing in 1940, Robert Graves and Alan Hodge asserted that at the Armistice 'there were no scenes in the trenches even remotely resembling those that took place at home. Most middle-class men tended to portray themselves as spectators to the celebrations, rather than as active participants. Shifting attention for a moment north of the border, for example, Thomas Livingstone noted in his diary that on 11 November there were 'Great scenes in Glasgow. It was often servicemen, rather than civilians, who were perceived as indulging in the wildest celebrations on the home front. As Adrian Gregory points out, most families were able greet the news of the Armistice with the relief of knowing that loved ones would be returning home from the war. Many middle-class civilians saw it in 1918, a disproportionate amount of wartime pain and sacrifice had been theirs.


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


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