Women, memory and home defence
in Contesting home defence
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The history of women and wartime home defence is distinct from that of men. This chapter explores the revelations concerning women's participation in the Home Guard and the Women's Home Defence (WHD). The explicit intention of the WHD was to be an armed organisation, as its badge, featuring crossed rifles and a revolver, signified. The account of Louie White's memory of the WHD and the Home Guard could be read as an exercise in 'triangulation', using a combination of personal testimony and material culture to establish the validity of her account. The chapter discusses the problematic aspects of women's memories of involvement in home defence, using the concepts of the cultural circuit, composure and intersubjectivity. Clearly, the problems of unreceptive audiences and cultural distortions contributed to women narrators' difficulties in achieving composure from reminiscence.

Contesting home defence

Men, women and the Home Guard in the Second World War

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