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Open Access (free)
Linda Maynard

more formidable fighting force. Blood ties provided the mental and physical endurance to fight on without succumbing to fear. What Roper terms the ‘softer conception’ of manliness encouraged by comradeship was pre-existing in fraternal relationships. 11 Siblings gained succour from the practical comforts of serving with each other. Sharing a small dugout in a reserve trench, Francis and Sid Collings did ‘grand together’. 12 Volunteering on 10 September 1914, the brothers went out to the Ypres Salient in February 1915. Later that year, after a spell of sustained

in Brothers in the Great War
Open Access (free)
Linda Maynard

memorialisation. Typically, when fraternal relations are mentioned in the context of war, the image conjured up is one of intermasculine bonding, embedded in the ideal of esprit de corps . The privileging of comradeship through the overarching trope of the ‘brotherhood of the trenches’ has overshadowed the presence and significance of real sibling bonds. 2 Brother–brother bonds have largely been ignored as a subject of historical and professional analysis. Often perceived as lesser than other sibling ties, brothers remain ‘an absent presence’. 3 Considerations of

in Brothers in the Great War
Open Access (free)
Linda Maynard

account gives a sense that soldierly stoicism wavered when faced with a loved brotherly presence. The fraternal handshake described here, rather than an antiseptic formality, is laden with feeling. Percy’s description of their joint relief and affection emphasised the force of the siblings’ emotions. Writing about the changing norms of masculine tactile contact in the First World War, Santanu Das argues that the intimacy of trench warfare opened up a new world of tactile gentleness among serving men. Yet, his insightful analysis, with its focus on comradeship, excludes

in Brothers in the Great War
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

compelled to kill for many personal reasons, such as duty, fear or comradeship. A small number, of course, refused to be compelled, even after the introduction of conscription in 1916. The history of these conscientious objectors, some of them ‘absolutists’, has been chronicled in detail elsewhere (both individual accounts and collectively). In the case of such active forms of protest in appearing before a public, decision-making tribunal and becoming a conscientious objector, Introduction 7 research has indicated that the majority of documented objectors backed up

in A war of individuals
Jonathan Atkin

, ‘no man can be satisfied with the idea that war will be one of the permanent moral agencies of the world’, the rush to arms also possessed a ‘nobler aspect’: that of comradeship, men marching as brothers and ‘the spirit of subordination of the individual to the common life’.13 One of Gilbert Cannan’s principal themes was this threat, as he perceived it, to the role of the individual within the State posed by that state at war, a war waged against other states and also, in effect, on some of its own citizens. He began a chapter in Freedom on ‘The Man in the Street

in A war of individuals
Jonathan Atkin

succumb to the ‘inner blight’, the fear of being afraid which swallowed Bowen. Raven’s difficulties were of a more focused and specific nature; he found the almost entire lack of intellectual or like-minded spiritual comradeship in the army hard to bear, and he longed constantly for letters from home, the bonds with the ‘sweeter and saner’ life he remembered. Meanwhile, his growing hatred of the war was based upon physical hardship and mental exhaustion, but there also existed a friction, as he himself recognised, in spiritual terms. Raven began to see the conflict as a

in A war of individuals
Open Access (free)
Linda Maynard

Brothers appear as an ‘absent present’ in the historiography of war. Possibly the very prevalence of fraternal relationships has made them largely invisible, ‘hidden’ in plain sight. Despite insightful studies dedicated to sibling relationships, there are surprising omissions in histories of families, masculinities and wartime. Privileging the lateral ties of the ‘brotherhood of the trenches’ has led to the presence and significance of real-life brothers being overlooked. The all-embracing concept of military comradeship obscured not only differences in class

in Brothers in the Great War
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

individuals He also thought of the situation in moral terms, wishing that any moral results of the conflict, such as those of comradeship and brotherly love, would outweigh the inevitable material losses, and he found himself frustrated by what he saw as a lack of perception of these potential material losses by the general populace; the holidaying people he observed at Cowes and in the train did not seem to him to see that they were all on the brink of the ‘greatest abyss in history’. Amidst the whirl of patriotic headlines, speeches and calls to arms he wrote sadly from

in A war of individuals
Open Access (free)
Debatable lands and passable boundaries
Aileen Christianson

/female?’ (1996: 196) Anderson, despite seeing nationhood as a socio-cultural concept, a given, like gender: ‘everyone can, should, will “have” a nationality, as he or she “has” a gender’ (1991: 5), nowhere examines the role of gender in nationhood. His national movements are run by men, for men; historically accurate perhaps, but his lack of examination is unimaginative in relation to half of the populations of his imagined communities.3 His view that ‘the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship’ (7) shows that ‘he ignores the significance of gender in

in Across the margins
Open Access (free)
Edward M. Spiers

more kindly to one another, and more Godly than in garrison’. 64 Although these observations were purely impressionistic, active service probably had some effect inasmuch as rankers (unlike the officers) had less access to drink (other than the occasional rum issued at night) and the risks of battle placed a premium on comradeship and fatalism about the future. Yet the sheer quantity of the

in The Victorian soldier in Africa