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A difficult homecoming

Shell-shocked British Army veterans in Ireland, 1918–39: A difficult homecoming tells the story of Irish veterans of the First World War who suffered from psychoneurotic ailments as a result of war service. Relying on previously untouched and newly released archival material, this monograph is a thematic analysis dedicated to the rehabilitation of mentally ill pensioners who returned to civil society and those who received institutional treatment. The unique socio-political and economic circumstances in Ireland ensures the Irish experience of post-war mental illness and disability does not reflect previous British-centric works. This case study argues that the post-war care and rehabilitation of mentally ill veterans of the Great War was dictated by unique bio-psycho, socio-economic, cultural and political concerns.

J.W.M. Hichberger

At the close of the Napoleonic wars in 1814, and a year later, after Waterloo, large numbers of soldiers were discharged and returned to Britain. There was little state provision for the care of veterans. A soldier who was wounded or disabled by military service was discharged: . . . with, if he were fortunate

in Images of the army
Johanna Söderström

What does it signify to these former combatants to be a “veteran”? How is it filled with meaning and how is it understood politically? This chapter shows how people's experience as former combatants is turned into a veteran identity; the way that veteran identity is formulated contains an impetus for political action. The chapter goes on to examine how this identity is constructed by the former combatants themselves. This is central to capturing an insider's perspective of how these former combatants understand and depict their own political

in Living politics after war
Johanna Söderström

This chapter scrutinizes the role played by fellow former combatants in the lives of the research participants after coming home from war. The experiences, as well as the political meaning, of coming home and being a veteran (in the sense of a political identity) are all mediated through the social networks which surround them. This chapter demonstrates what meaning is attached to the network of other veterans and what role these networks play and have played in their lives as understood by the former combatants themselves. These networks

in Living politics after war
Andrekos Varnava

In autumn 1921 Varnavas Michael Varnava, dressed in his best garb, lined up with other veterans of the Cypriot Mule Corps in Famagusta to receive his British War Medal. With their families watching, the ceremony must have given them great pride. Such ceremonies as this, which was attended by my great-grandfather, were held across all the towns of the island in autumn 1921. Sadly my

in Serving the empire in the Great War
Chris Millington

• 6 • The veterans and the Popular Front In June 1936, Léon Blum became the first socialist prime minister of France. For the first time, too, socialists took up ministerial posts alongside their radical coalition partners. Some things did not change. The communists refused ministerial participation, though they continued to support the coalition. The Popular Front took power at a tumultuous time. Since 6 February 1934, France had become increasingly divided between the combined forces of the left and the nationalist leagues. This division was increasingly

in From victory to Vichy
Memory, masculinity and nation
Michael Brown and Joanne Begiato

• 5 • Visualising the aged veteran in nineteenth-century Britain: memory, masculinity and nation Michael Brown and Joanne Begiato Introduction In December 1914, the British Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (PRC) issued a poster entitled ‘The Veteran’s Farewell’ (figure 5.1). By this point of the First World War, following the First Battle of Ypres (October-November 1914), the small, professional British Expeditionary Force had effectively been wiped out, and the British army was increasingly reliant on civilian volunteers. The PRC had been established on 31

in Martial masculinities
Michael Robinson

An investigation of mentally disabled Great War veterans will begin where the majority of such illnesses manifested: the Western Front. Two-thirds of Irish battalions spent the entire duration of the war in this theatre which was responsible for almost 31,000 war-dead from Irish Regiments equating to 82 percent of fatalities. 4 The British military and medical authorities paid little heed to forewarnings that modern industrial warfare would contribute to a higher number of mental and nervous casualties. Mental and

in Shell-shocked British Army veterans in Ireland, 1918–39
Veterans in inter-war France

The most up-to-date and comprehensive English-language study of its kind, From victory to Vichy explores the political mobilisation of the two largest French veterans’ associations during the interwar years, the Union fédérale (UF) and the Union nationale des combattants (UNC). Drawing on extensive research into the associations’ organisation, policies and tactics, this study argues that French veterans were more of a threat to democracy than previous scholarship has allowed. As France descended into crisis, the UF and the UNC sought to extend their influence into the non-veteran milieu through public demonstrations, propaganda campaigns and the foundation of auxiliary groups. Despite shifting policies and independent initiatives, by the end of the 1930s the UF and the UNC had come together in a campaign for authoritarian political reform, leaving them perfectly placed to become the ‘eyes and ears’ of Marshal Pétain’s Vichy regime.

The Cypriot Mule corps, imperial loyalty and silenced memory

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.