Research on soldier settlement has to be set within the wider history of emigration and immigration. This book examines two parallel but complementary themes: the settlement of British soldiers in the overseas or 'white' dominions, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, between 1915 and 1930. One must place soldier settlement within the larger context of imperial migration prior to 1914 in order to elicit the changes in attitude and policy which occurred after the armistice. The book discusses the changes to Anglo-dominion relations that were consequent upon the incorporation of British ex-service personnel into several overseas soldier settlement programmes, and unravels the responses of the dominion governments to such programmes. For instance, Canadians and Australians complained about the number of ex-imperials who arrived physically unfit and unable to undertake employment of any kind. The First World War made the British government to commit itself to a free passage scheme for its ex-service personnel between 1914 and 1922. The efforts of men such as L. S. Amery who attempted to establish a landed imperial yeomanry overseas is described. Anglicisation was revived in South Africa after the second Anglo-Boer War, and politicisation of the country's soldier settlement was an integral part of the larger debate on British immigration to South Africa. The Australian experience of resettling ex-servicemen on the land after World War I came at a great social and financial cost, and New Zealand's disappointing results demonstrated the nation's vulnerability to outside economic factors.
myth and the yeoman ideal but shared
some of their salient features. The ‘Anzac’ legend or
‘digger’ tradition was created during the unsuccessful
Gallipoli campaign. For Australians, Gallipoli signified not just the
first major test of its military prowess, but more importantly a coming
of age. Australians believed that their country had indeed achieved
nationhood. 7 The
product of a recent resurgence of this ‘Anzaclegend’. According to the legend, during the Great War Australian soldiers proved to themselves and to the rest of the world that the new breed of Anglo-Celtic men from the south was worthy to rank with the nations of the world. Gallipoli, where the Australians first went into battle on April 25 1915, was regarded as the baptism of fire of the new Australian Commonwealth, and the commemoration of Anzac Day on April 25 each year became the Australian equivalent of American Independence Day or Bastille Day in France (without
the Gallipoli massacre in particular became transformed into a story – the Anzaclegend
– that symbolises what are purported to be key Australian national values: courage,
valour and heroic suffering, where war becomes the proving ground of national character and
death in war the ultimate patriotic sacrifice. 15 The pervasiveness of the Anzaclegend is immediately evident not only in
Australia’s national holiday (Anzac Day) but in the numerous war memorials and
monuments found in state capitals and small country towns alike
Disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914
professional life to the instigation and expansion of nursing infrastructures
in New South Wales and her ‘frontier experiences’, her links to the
‘old country’ and her military experiences (particularly at Gallipoli),
allow her to be easily assimilated within the early formation of notions
surrounding Australian nationalism. More specifically, her encounters have rendered her an integral part of the feminised reshaping of
the AnzacLegend, the controversial and evolving cultural concept
founded partially upon the apparent personal qualities of the romanticised Antipodean
converted: those who made up the conservative, Anglocentric White Australia of the Old Bully; who voted for Menzies over Ben Chifley's Labor Party in 1949 (see Figure 14.4 ); and who saw in Australia's involvement in Korea a continuation of the AnzacLegend founded in the two world wars ( Figure 14.5 ).
Ted Scorfield, ‘Going my way – on a full petrol-tank?’, The Bulletin , 30 November 1949, p. 5
Growing up in Australia I could
not avoid the Anzaclegend and the Australian pride in the contribution
of their ancestors to both World Wars. These contributions, especially
at Gallipoli, play an important role in Australian national identity in
new and evolving ways. 1 As
an Australian of Cypriot heritage the place of the Great War in the
Australian national script
of remembrance increasingly focused on the memories of bereaved civilians.
They might also display varied and complex reactions to the
mythical representations of their wartime exploits and experiences
that public commemorative culture sometimes embodied. Thus,
as Thomson has shown, a construct such as the ‘Anzaclegend’,
with its celebrations of the fighting spirit, manliness and mateship
of the (supposedly) typical Australian digger, might provide many
veterans with a helpfully positive affirmation of their own values
and experiences and thus with a viable
., p. 769.
78 This is also demonstrated by A. Thomson’s well know example of Fred Farrell and
the Anzaclegend, A. Thomson, ‘Putting Popular Memory Theory into Practice in
Australia’ in R. Perks and A. Thomson (eds), The Oral History Reader (London:
Routledge, 2006), pp. 300–311.
79 P. Summerfield, ‘Culture and Composure: Creating Narratives of the Gendered Self in
Oral History Interview’, Cultural and Social History, vol. 1 (2004), pp. 65–93, at p. 93.
80 L. Abrams, Oral History Theory (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010), p. 47.
81 Todd, ‘Class, Experience and Britain
, in Thomson’s research, to emphasise aspects that
conformed to ‘the Anzaclegend’ as opposed to those that did not. But in
the case of histories that have been entirely hidden, and about which there
is no legend, audiences’ non-recognition of the subject matter is likely to
be profound, and to have a powerful silencing effect that works to the
detriment of memory.
As we have seen, the men of the Home Guard were well embedded
in popular memory as a result of their representation both in wartime
and in late twentieth-century popular culture. Dad’s Army generated a