The British army was almost unique among the European armies of the Great War in that it did not suffer from a serious breakdown of discipline or collapse of morale. It did, however, inevitably suffer from disciplinary problems. While attention has hitherto focused on the 312 notorious ‘shot at dawn’ cases, many thousands of British soldiers were tried by court martial during the Great War. This book provides a comprehensive study of discipline and morale in the British army during the Great War by using a case study of the Irish regiments. It considers the wartime experience of the Irish regular and Special Reserve battalions, as well as the 10th (Irish), 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions. The book demonstrates that, although breaches of discipline did occur in the Irish regiments during the period, in most cases, these were of a minor nature. The author suggests that where executions did take place, they were militarily necessary and served the purpose of restoring discipline in failing units, and also shows that there was very little support for the emerging Sinn Fein movement within the Irish regiments.
After the GreatWar:
The origin of public relations
Public relations today has an image problem. Seen through the
prism of popular works such as Adam Curtis’s Century of the
Self and Nick Davies’s Flat Earth News, public relations is a
profession that has endowed sectarian interests with the ability
to manipulate entire populations. Scholars tend to share this
scepticism. British historians invariably track the development
of propaganda techniques and systems of censorship against
exceptional media flashpoints of the early twentieth century such
as the Great
Drawing on a broad range of personal accounts, this is the first detailed study of siblinghood in wartime. The relative youth of the fighting men of the Great War intensified the emotional salience of sibling relationships. Long separations, trauma and bereavement tested sibling ties forged through shared childhoods, family practices, commitments and interests. We must not equate the absence of a verbal language of love with an absence of profound feelings. Quieter familial values of kindness, tolerance and unity, instilled by parents and reinforced by moral instruction, strengthened bonds between brothers and sisters. Examining the nexus of cultural and familial emotional norms, this study reveals the complex acts of mediation undertaken by siblings striving to reconcile conflicting obligations to society, the army and loved ones in families at home. Brothers enlisted and served together. Siblings witnessed departures and homecomings, shared family responsibilities, confided their anxieties and provided mutual support from a distance via letters and parcels. The strength soldier-brothers drew from each other came at an emotional cost to themselves and their comrades. The seismic casualties of the First World War proved a watershed moment in the culture of mourning and bereavement. Grief narratives reveal distinct patterns of mourning following the death of a loved sibling, suggesting a greater complexity to male grief than is often acknowledged. Surviving siblings acted as memory keepers, circumventing the anonymisation of the dead in public commemorations by restoring the particular war stories of their brothers.
Most Cypriots and British today do not know that Cypriots even served in the Great War. This book contributes to the growing literature on the role of the British non-settler empire in the Great War by exploring the service of the Cypriot Mule Corps on the Salonica Front, and after the war in Constantinople. This book speaks to a number of interlocking historiographies, contributing to various debates especially around enlistment/volunteerism, imperial loyalty and veterans' issues. At the most basic level, it reconstructs the story of Cypriot Mule Corps' contribution, of transporting wounded men and supplies to the front, across steep mountains, with dangerous ravines and in extreme climates. The book argues that Cypriot mules and mule drivers played a pivotal role in British logistics in Salonica and Constantinople, especially the former. It explores the impact of the war on Cypriot socio-economic conditions, particularly of so many men serving abroad on the local economy and society. The issues that arose for the British in relation to the contracts they offered the Cypriots, contracts offered to the muleteers, and problems of implementing the promise of an allotment scheme are also discussed. Behavioural problems one finds with military corps, such as desertion and crime, were not prevalent in the Cypriot Mule Corps. The book also explores the impact of death and incapacity on veterans and dependants, looking at issues that veterans faced after returning and resettling into Cypriot life.
popular memory. Despite the efforts of some historians and politicians, the memory of the Somme as senseless slaughter in the mud stuck.
Traceable to some of the writings of the later war poets and, in particular, a cynicism towards the war from the 1960s associated with Oh What a Lovely War, this memory of the GreatWar was the one that most closely aligned with the founding myth of European integration. But in contrast to the ‘European’ idea that the two world wars represented a catastrophe followed by renaissance, English memory of the conflict of the
The First World War was the first ‘total war’. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men, and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Others suffered from massive, life-threatening injuries; wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus; exposure to extremes of temperature; emotional trauma; and systemic disease. Tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses to alleviate their suffering. Some were fully-trained professionals; others had minimal preparation, and served as volunteer-nurses. Their motivations were a combination of compassion, patriotism, professional pride and a desire for engagement in the ‘great enterprise’ of war. The war led to an outpouring of war-memoirs, produced mostly by soldier-writers whose works came to be seen as a ‘literary canon’ of war-writing. But nurses had offered immediate and long-term care, life-saving expertise, and comfort to the war’s wounded, and their experiences had given them a perspective on industrial warfare which was unique. Until recently, their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare have remained largely hidden from view. ‘Nurse Writers of the Great War’ examines these nurses’ memoirs and explores the insights they offer into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare. The book combines close biographical research with textual analysis, in order to offer an understanding of both nurses’ wartime experiences and the ways in which their lives and backgrounds contributed to the style and content of their writing.
The GreatWar and
Hope lies to mortals,
And most believe her,
But man’s deceiver
Was never mine.
The thoughts of others
Were light and fleeting
Of lovers’ meeting
Or luck or fame.
Mine were of trouble
And mine were steady
So I was ready
When trouble came
any, many years ago, when I was a young academic at Cambridge, I
found myself sitting on a sofa having tea with E.M. Forster. It was
the season between Bonfire Night and Christmas. He said that, according to
his bedmaker, old people hated Remembrance Sunday: it
, which meant that they faced
the type of persecution which characterised the experience of minorities
throughout the globe during the First World War. 1 The clearest
indication of their sudden visibility lies in the mass of official
archival documents which have survived detailing their experiences
during the GreatWar. 2 While they may not have experienced the kind of
murderous persecution faced, for
did not consider these two impulses to be contradictory. As the
University of British Columbia’s report of its war service
read, ‘in the opportunities for service and sacrifice for
which the GreatWar gave abundant scope, the young institutions
found opportunities for the establishment of traditions which in
future years w[ould] be a precious and imperishable
The impact of the GreatWar on Quebec, including that of the conscription crisis that divided French and English Canada, is often considered well known by the historiography. The impact of the immediate aftermath of the First World War on Quebec nationalism has, however, seldom been analysed, and has instead been overshadowed by a focus on the impact of the war on the evolution of Canadian nationalism, and the analysis of the relationship between the conscription crises of both world wars and modern Quebec nationalism in the 1960s. The