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Britain 1876–1953

Music played a major role in the life of a global ideological phenomenon like the British Empire. This book demonstrates that music has to be recognised as one of the central characteristics of the cultural imperialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It begins with an account of the imperial music of Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Arthur Sullivan and the establishing of an imperial musical idiom. The book discusses the music composed for or utilized by official occasions: coronations, jubilees, exhibitions, tattoos, Armistice Day and Empire Day. Community singing was also introduced at the Aldershot Military Tattoo in 1927, sponsored by the Daily Express. The book examines the imperial content of a range of musical forms: operetta and ballet, films, music hall songs, ballads, hymns and marches. In one of the scenes depicting ballet, Indian dancing girls are ordered to reveal the riches of the land and the Ballet of Jewels. There were two staples of song in the second half of the nineteenth century: the drawing-room ballad and the music-hall song. Sir Henry Coward was Britain's leading chorus-master, and his 1911 musical world tour with Sheffield choir was the high point of his career. The book concludes with a discussion of practitioners of imperial music: the divas Emma Albani, Nellie Melba and Clara Butt, and the baritone Peter Dawson.

Open Access (free)
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat

, and social workers charged with recording health and welfare needs. 13 Starting their tour on Armistice Day, the Special Survey provided Hine with the opportunity to apply his full set of photographic skills. 14 The photographs Hine made for the Special Survey were meant to be part fact-finding and part public appeal to build support for ARC peacetime relief and reconstruction projects. To achieve this, Hine applied a different narrative structure than he employed while promoting the ARC’s war relief activities within The Red Cross Magazine . He diverged from

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Two women’s accounts of the post-war years
Alison Hennegan

v 4 v Fighting the peace: Two women’s accounts of the post-war years Alison Hennegan Quite early on in the novel Women of the Aftermath (1931) by Helen Zenna Smith (Evadne Price) there is an evocation of the crowds in and around Piccadilly Circus on the first Armistice Day, 11 November 1918.1 The description is an often savage piece of writing, punctuated by the italicised and increasingly ironic refrain, ‘We’ve won the War!’ The narration is torn between disgust, understanding, empathy and rejection of the drunkenness, the crudity and the desperate desire for

in The silent morning
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Armistice Day and Empire Day
Jeffrey Richards

Armistice Day The traumatic experience of the First World War required both formal commemoration and ritualized mourning to salve emotional and psychological wounds. There was a need to signal and demonstrate a sense of loss, together with a sense of pride and a sense of gratitude, not just on a national level but on an imperial level. For the First World War was an imperial

in Imperialism and music
The Armistice, the silence and Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End
John Pegum

rowdy and extravagant frivolity’. He goes on to ask ‘Did they give their lives to make the world safe for saxophones?’5 Forced alliteration aside, the editorial gives vent to a popular feeling. Celebration was an insult to both the sacrifice of the dead and the grief of the bereaved. Ex-servicemen were often in conflict with civilians on Armistice Day anniversaries, sometimes violently so, and the situation could not be permitted to escalate. It was into this climate and with that intention that Douglas Haig wrote to the papers shortly before Armistice Day 1925

in The silent morning
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Hester Barron

The language of citizenship pervaded education during the interwar period, as local and national officials adjusted to a period of mass democracy. This chapter examines the way that children were taught about citizenship and patriotism, whether through the messaging in history lessons, for example, or more incidental activities such as school trips. The British Empire in particular was central to the sense of the world that was imparted within the schoolroom, and imperial pride was bolstered by rituals such as the annual celebration of Empire Day or attendance at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. The way in which the First World War was commemorated on Armistice Day is also explored, alongside classroom discussions about the League of Nations. The evidence shows that the teaching of concepts such as citizenship, patriotism and empire varied enormously, affected by the degree of enthusiasm among a school’s staff and the effectiveness of their teaching; individual children also responded in diverse ways. It is harder still to generalise about any long-term effect, although memoirs suggest that school lessons could sometimes make a lasting difference. But the chapter also argues that the dominant scholarly focus on patriotism and empire can be a distraction. Lessons in subjects such as history may not have made pupils more patriotic; but sometimes that was not their intention. Love of country, monarchy and empire or, indeed, the championing of the League of Nations and international cooperation, rarely dominated a child’s education and competed with more day-to-day concerns.

in The social world of the school
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‘This grave day’
Trudi Tate and Kate Kennedy

veterans might have felt silenced by the war, rendered mute by injury or trauma, by resentment or sadness – or simply unable to speak of certain things.11 The essays in this book trace that sense of being silenced – as well as the opposite, feeling driven to speak out – in the decade or so after the Armistice. In Britain, the silence of the 1918 Armistice was translated into the silence of Armistice Day (later Remembrance Day). As Adrian Gregory explains in The Silence of Memory, the communal silence on v4v Introduction 11 November was an invented tradition which was

in The silent morning
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Imagining and planning for death in wartime
Lucy Noakes

coming conflict. Mass Observation (MO) surveyed people’s thoughts and feelings on Armistice Day in 1937 and 1938, and their findings demonstrate the ways that memories of the Great War and anxieties about a future war combined to produce a widespread belief that losses would be high, and would be spread between military and civilian victims. MO, observing reactions to Armistice Day in ‘Worktown’ (Bolton), found that, for many, thoughts about past and future wars were interwoven. Asked what he had been thinking about during the two-minute silence at 11 a.m., an ex

in Dying for the nation
British classical music and the Armistice
Kate Kennedy

recording and the work, though I did not let on, and thus became, from that moment, part of the conspiracy. It was his own Elegy.16 The fact that such an unlikely lecture was included in the college’s programme is highly suggestive. Howells, as one of the generation faced with commemorating war, had consciously contributed to the development of a genre of mourning music that moved far beyond the traditional Requiem Mass. Initially, the impulse had been to celebrate 11 November, rather than transform it into a memorial.17 The dances and parties celebrating Armistice Day

in The silent morning
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Remembering and commemorating the dead of war
Lucy Noakes

’, and ‘he will not grow old as they that are left grow old. • 244 • Remembering: remembering and commemorating the dead of war He sleeps with the brave’, both adapted from Lawrence Binyon’s 1914 poem ‘For the Fallen’, read each year at Armistice Day ceremonies, was inscribed on the headstones of many of those buried at Bayeux cemetery in Normandy, France and Kohima cemetery in India. Like many others, the next of kin of Private Dennis Lord, also buried at Bayeux, chose a verse from Rupert Brooke’s 1914 ‘The Soldier’: ‘There is some corner of a foreign field that is

in Dying for the nation