This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to
black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War.
Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945,
about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships
with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The
African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called
them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry
their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with
the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for
adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in
children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but
adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were
thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these
children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white
Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated
with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these
children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking,
there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining
a sense of self and of heritage.
Women Art Workers constitutes the first comprehensive history of the network of women who worked at the heart of the English Arts and Crafts movement from the 1870s to the 1930s. Challenging the long-standing assumption that the Arts and Crafts simply revolved around celebrated male designers like William Morris, this book instead offers a new social and cultural account of the movement, which simultaneously reveals the breadth of the imprint of women art workers upon the making of modern society. Thomas provides unprecedented insight into how women – working in fields such as woodwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, and metalwork – navigated new authoritative roles as ‘art workers’ by asserting expertise across a range of interconnected cultures so often considered in isolation: from the artistic to the professional, intellectual, entrepreneurial, and domestic. Through examination of newly discovered institutional archives and private papers, and a wide range of unstudied advertisements, letters, manuals, photographs, and calling cards, Women Art Workers elucidates the critical importance of the spaces around which women conceptualised alternative creative and professional lifestyles: guild halls, exhibitions, homes, studios, workshops, and the cityscape. Shattering the traditional periodisation of the movement as ‘Victorian’, this research reveals that the early twentieth century was a critical juncture at which women art workers became ever more confident in promoting their own vision of the Arts and Crafts. Shaped by their precarious gendered positions, they opened up the movement to a wider range of social backgrounds and interests, and redirected the movement’s radical potential into contemporary women-centred causes.
focused on the expulsion of the expellees from their homelands, including a controversial work by Alfred
de Zayas30 and a collection of essays edited by Philipp Ther and Ana
Siljak.31 In addition, ComingHome to Germany?, a volume edited
by David Rock and Stefan Wolff, contains several contributions on
Refugees and expellees in post-war Germany
the integration of expellees in post-war Germany.32 Pertti Ahonen’s
excellent monograph, After the Expulsion, published in 2004,
analyses the interaction between the expellee
Appropriation, dehumanisation and the rule of colonial difference
See Kate Ariotti, Captive Anzacs: Australian POWs of the Ottomans during the First World War (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2018); Santanu Das (ed.), Race, Empire and First World War Writing (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Romain Fathi and Bart Ziino, ‘Cominghome: Australians’ sorties de guerre after the First World War’, History Australia , 16
his Coming, ComingHome.
Conversations II (St Martin: House of Nehesi, 2000), p.
Stuart Hall, ‘The formation of a diasporic
intellectual’, in David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen (eds),
Stuart Hall: critical dialogues in cultural studies
(London: Routledge, 1996), p. 501
Charlotte Yonge and the ‘martial ardour’ of ‘a soldier’s daughter’
’s fictional exemplars
Yonge depicted her first attempts at story writing as ‘perpetual dreams
of romance … in which somebody was always being wounded in the
Peninsular War and cominghome with an arm in a sling’.39 Revering
the military spirit of both her father and her uncle, Yonge perceived
the perfect temperament to be one that combined contrasting elements:
action and restraint, initiative and discipline, fortitude and gentleness.
Although based on the moral fibre of soldiers, she believed such qualities were equally suitable for women and girls of all classes as well
Refugees and expellees in post-war Germany
1 S. Wolff, ‘Introduction: From Colonists to Emigrants: Explaining the
“Return-Migration” of Ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern
Europe’, in Rock and Wolff (eds), ComingHome to Germany?, p. 5.
2 M. Frantzioch, Die Vertriebenen: Hemmnisse, Arbeitskräfte und Wege
ihrer Integration in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Berlin 1987), p.
3 Ibid., p. 31.
4 Wolff, ‘Introduction’, p. 5.
5 G. Ziemer, Deutscher Exodus: Vertreibung und Eingliederung von 15
been there for centuries. I was cominghome. I am the sugar
at the bottom of the English cup of tea. I am the sweet
tooth, the sugar plantations that rotted generations of
English children’s teeth … That is the outside history that
is inside the history of the English. There is no English
history without that other history. 33
Romain Fathi, Margaret Hutchison, Andrekos Varnava, and Michael J. K. Walsh
-Rouzeau and Christophe Prochasson, Sortir de la Grande Guerre. Le monde et l’apres 1918 (Paris: Tallandier, 2008). For a historiographical review of sorties de guerre , see Cosima Flateau, ‘Les sorties de guerre. Une introduction’, Les Cahiers Sirice , 17:3 (2016), 5–14.
Romain Fathi and Bart Ziino, ‘Cominghome: Australians’ sorties de guerre after the First World War’, History Australia , 16:1 (2019), 5
themselves return migrants, virtually all the recruits were women, many of whom
welcomed the opportunity to travel, at the same time as pursuing a career in teaching,
medicine or church work. 30 They were
generally open-minded about their future intentions. Some reflected Wyman’s template of
return migration by cominghome to fulfil family responsibilities, while others, in a manner
reminiscent of Robert McLeese from north Antrim, came home only briefly as part of the rite
of passage that led to permanent emigration.