Death, grief and mourning before the Second World War
in Dying for the nation
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This chapter provides the historical background to the cultural practices of bereavement and the cultures of grief that were dominant in Britain during the Second World War. It traces British ‘cultures of death’ from the elaborate funerals of mid 19th century Britain to the end of the Great War. By this point, expectation of bereavement had moved from the often elaborate, formal rituals of the mid 19th century to the restrained funerary practice and bereavement rituals that dominated the mid 20th century. The Great War, it argues, strengthened existing patterns of growing restraint and simplicity in funerary and bereavement practice, and shaped the ways that people could, or could not, give voice to grief in public.

Dying for the nation

Death, grief and bereavement in Second World War Britain




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