Top PDF The Show Must Go On! Popular Song in Britain during the First World War

The Show Must Go On! Popular Song in Britain during the First World War

The Show Must Go On! Popular Song in Britain during the First World War

Studies of the music, especially the popular music, of the First World War period are few and John Mullen’s book is a welcome addition to Regina M. Sweeney’s Singing Our Way to Victory, on French popular music, published in 2001. There is also no one better qualified than John Mullen to have written this book. A senior lecturer in British studies at UPEC (Université Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne), Mullen has published extensively on the topic of popular music in Great Britain during the Great War, mostly in the French academic press. Mullen structures the book into six main chapters interspersed by four vignettes of major stars: Harry Lauder, Vesta Tilley, Marie Lloyd and Harry Champion.
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Prisoners of Britain: German Civilian and Combatant Internees During the First World War

Prisoners of Britain: German Civilian and Combatant Internees During the First World War

war economy and for the prisoners themselves. Chapter seven shifts tack, adding another layer to Panayi’s analysis: he leaves the confines of the camps in order to consider the ways in which German internees were seen in both Britain and Germany during the war. The largely negative views constructed in medial and official discourses are balanced against positive manifestations of public opinion, including the charitable efforts to help internees that operated on an international, national (in Britain and Germany), regional, local and familial level. The juxtaposition of the negative discourses which generated hatred against softer, human interactions which resulted in kindness and intimacy between those categorised elsewhere as ‘enemies’ is striking. In chapter eight the book comes full circle with a consideration of escapes, releases and returns to show the various ways German internees’ exited captivity. This rightly stresses that exit did not mark an end of the experience, the deportations suffered by many German civilians who had been long-time resident in Britain before war’s outbreak revealing how First World War captivity could be a life changing experience. For most internees it was rarely as easy as leaving the camps and returning to one’s pre-captive life.
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Philanthropy in Britain during the First World War

Philanthropy in Britain during the First World War

[1] Examples include: Arthur Marwick, The Deluge: British Society and the First World War (Boston, Little Brown, 1965); Gerard DeGroot, Blighty: British Society in the Era of the Great War (London, Longman, 1996); Jay Winter, and Jean-Louis Robert (eds.), Capital Cities at War: Paris, London, Berlin 1914-1919 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997); Trevor Wilson, The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War, 1914-1918 (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1986); Ian Beckett, Home Front 1914-1918, How Britain survived the Great War, (Kew, National Archives, 2006); Peter Cooksley, The Home Front: Civilian Life in World War One (London, NPI Media, 2006); E. S. Turner, Dear Old Blighty (London, Michael Joseph, 1980); Richard Van Emden, and Steve Humphries, All Quiet on the Home Front: An oral history of life in Britain during the First World War (London, Hodder Headline, 2003) and Diana Condell, and Jean Liddiard, Working for Victory? Images of Women in the First World War (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987).
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Co-operation and consumer politics in comparative perspective: Britain and Sweden during the First World War

Co-operation and consumer politics in comparative perspective: Britain and Sweden during the First World War

consumer co-operation. The debate had different outcomes in Britain and Sweden. In Britain the Co-operative Congress resolved to establish a Co-operative Party, which worked closely together with the Labour Party, although many co-operators remained ambivalent about or even downright hostile towards the political views of the labour movement. In Sweden, the KF decided to retain its political neutrality, and act instead as a non-partisan pressure group, although from the 1920s it developed closer relations with the state as the quasi-official (corporatist even?) representative of consumer interests. Nevertheless, the different forms which co-operative involvement in politics ultimately took in Britain and Sweden should not conceal the similarities in the issues faced by the movements, which would repay further comparative study. The two case studies considered in this paper suggest the existence of very similar debates over the politics of the food supply during a time of scarcity. In recent years, social historians have demonstrated that issues of food and consumption have to be taken seriously in working-class politics, where more emphasis previously had been placed on conflicts in the sphere of production. Comparative analysis of the politics of the Co-operative Movement would have to be considered in this context.
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Competition and communication: the development of campaigning in Britain from the Second Reform Act to the First World War

Competition and communication: the development of campaigning in Britain from the Second Reform Act to the First World War

On the negative side, there are a few words that don’t seem obvious initially, such as “year”, which strongly predicts negative sentiment. This is linked to the constitutional crisis surrounding the ‘People’s Budget’ of 1909, which led to two General Elections within a year (January and December 1910, which were often discussed often using very negative language from both sides of the political spectrum. Interestingly, they apportioned the blame differently: The Liberal Arthur Brampton, running in Birmingham Central in January 1910, focused his ire on the House of Lords: “The action of the Lords in venturing FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY to withhold their assent from the Bill making provision for the Nation’s financial requirements for the year has brought about a crisis, in my opinion, more serious than any this Nation has for many generations been called upon to face.” On the other side, Almeric Hugh Paget, a Conservative candidate in Cambridge in December 1910, blamed the Liberals, beginning his manifesto by saying, “Gentlemen, In pursuance of their declared intention of subverting the ancient Constitution of this realm, the Liberal Government have, in spite of their unbeaten majority, advised the King to dissolve Parliament, and we are faced with an election on a worn-out Register and at the most inconvenient time of the year.”
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A Time when the Government ran Restaurants: State-sponsored Dining in Britain during the First World War

A Time when the Government ran Restaurants: State-sponsored Dining in Britain during the First World War

Elizabeth Waldie, head-teacher at the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science, the largest of the three great Scottish cookery training schools, published her best-selling ‘Economical Recipes suitable for War Cookery’ in 1917. Cooking must respond to ‘the greatest struggle of nations the world has ever known’ by supplying energy for war work and achieving fuel economy, she wrote. Waldie broke wartime nutrition into four food groups. ‘Flesh Formers’ – scarce sources of protein such as meat, eggs and milk – which could be replaced by cheaper meats, nuts, beans and dried fruit. ‘Heat and Energy Producers’ - fats which were in short supply – could also be obtained from suet, nuts, seeds and fish. For ‘Sugars and Starches’ Waldie recommended replacing jam with syrup and treacle. ‘Blood Purifiers and Bone Formers’ - to be found in mineral salts and vegetable acids – were now largely to be gotten from green vegetables, she instructed. Waldie’s book of ‘War Cookery’ provided a number of substitute recipes. These included ‘Poor Man’s Goose’ (made from pig liver); ‘Brains on Toast’ (made from sheep’s brains); and ‘Very Economical Plum Pudding’. 89
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The politics of meaning in the commemoration of the First World War in Britain, 1914-1939

The politics of meaning in the commemoration of the First World War in Britain, 1914-1939

choice and design of memorials reflected the political and.. religious preoccupations of those who contributed to them.[r]

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Shell Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain

Shell Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain

explanations – although they never quite disappeared throughout the war – were never seen as the major contributor towards shell-shock symptoms (apart from a brief flare of excitement in 1916–7) and only affected a small proportion of cases. (pp. 97–8). Thus, a ‘shell’ shock model was never quite adopted, and organic explanations were increasingly superseded by an interest in psychodynamic approaches (p. 106) and a return to the theory of inherited predispositions (pp. 107–8). One reason for the increasing acceptability of the predisposition model may have been that, with universal conscription in the major combatant countries, the army lost its elite character and special pleading for traumatised soldiers became unnecessary, with the exception of officers who were always considered separately in the diagnosis and treatment of shell shock. Yet, these developments occurred without a major public debate: As Loughran argues in chapter four
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Splendid Isolation? Britain, the Balance of Power and the Origins of the First World War

Splendid Isolation? Britain, the Balance of Power and the Origins of the First World War

as two blindspots. First, the exclusive focus on political actors comes at the price of neglecting the role played by the Foreign Office and Britain's diplomats abroad. This is not to advocate old-fashioned 'what-one- clerk-said-to-another'-ism. But leaving the clerks out altogether means that the reader does not get a sense of Derby or any of his successors as operators within the Whitehall machinery. It also means that the reader remains unaware of the extent to which, for example, Disraeli relied on Lord Tenterden, the permanent under-secretary of the FO, for advice, or later Salisbury let himself be guided by the ambassador at Constantinople, Sir William White, during the Bulgarian crisis of 1885 (when Salisbury performed what appeared to be a volte face). A notable exception, though, is John Charmley's accurate emphasis on the influence Sir Thomas Sanderson exercised as PUS between 1894 and 1906. Secondly, by relying on thumbnail sketches of foreign leaders such as Bismarck, Andrássy or Gorchakov, deftly executed and peppered with witty aperçus though they are, John Charmley does not convey fully the dynamics of international diplomacy, the background influences shaping the policies of the other great powers, and Britain's interactions with them. Now, Splendid Isolation? is, of course, a book about British foreign policy. But Charmley's approach has the unfortunate consequence of making international politics appear as some sort of unwelcome intrusion of foreign problems into the orderly course of British affairs. Thus, for example, Bismarck's approach to Britain in 1879 remains mysterious because Austria's desire for close cooperation with Britain in addition to the contemplated dual alliance with Germany is not explained properly.(2) After the long and detailed examination of the Disraeli period, the Gladstone-Granville stewardship of Britain's external relations between 1880 and 1885 is dealt with in one-and-a-half chapters (- the Rosebery
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The rhetoric of disfigurement in First World War Britain

The rhetoric of disfigurement in First World War Britain

years of the war, to the extent that the disabled soldier could be hailed as ‘ not less but more of a man ’ . 53 John Galsworthy, in his foreword to the 1922 Handbook for the Limb- less, amplifies this sentiment: ‘ The Briton has to be “ up against it ” ’ , he wrote, ‘ to be seen at his best — an expensive but thrilling characteristic ’ . 54 An entire chapter is devoted to ‘ Recreations for those who have lost limbs ’ , and includes bicycling, riding, boxing and bil- liards for the one-armed. Those who were ‘ sick ’ (physically or mentally) had to live with the suspicion of malingering. The ‘ wounded ’ , however, bore the visible proof of their valour and sacrifice. 55 There is a paradox here. As Mary Guyatt points out, amputation was ‘ one of the most visible reminders of war ’ . Only by concealing the loss could the country ‘ begin to move forward seemingly cleansed and guilt-free ’ . 56 And yet, looking through the press clippings from Roehampton hospital, one is struck by the lack of con- cealment of absent and artificial limbs in comparison to facial disfigurement. Artificial legs in particular were presented as objects of superior craftsmanship as well as utility in much of the trade literature Guyatt considers; what is perhaps more surprising is the visual display of bodily reconstruction in the illustrated press. In two photographs published in the Illustrated London News in October 1915, we see the final adjustments being made to a full-length, polished and ready-shod wooden leg (Figures 4 and 5). The recipi- ent looks on, his empty trouser leg folded loosely at the hip ready for the limb to be fitted. In the second image, another young man stands confidently — almost defiantly — without support, his trousers rolled above the knee to reveal a pair of brand new artificial legs.
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Pacifists, Patriots and the Vote: The Erosion of Democratic Suffragism in Britain During the First World War

Pacifists, Patriots and the Vote: The Erosion of Democratic Suffragism in Britain During the First World War

Indeed, the second consequence of the NUWSS split was that the best connected and most influential non- militant organisation in Britain was now dominated by a small, sociologically and ideologically homogenous group with no interest in adult suffrage and little regard for democratic process. Here Vellacott decisively undermines the prevalent view that the patriots' victory had kept the NUWSS 'a broad church'. To her, this conclusion is 'rendered indefensible by its failure to take into account class and geographical factors' (p. 95). Indeed, after the June council, the NUWSS was controlled by 'a small group of middle- and upper-class Londoners, ... none of whom could speak for the wide constituency of working women and men touched by the pre-war campaign' (p. 95). This group's lack of interest in a broad franchise was compounded by the top- level advice it was given by most insiders, bar Simon (but including the Prime Minister), that pushing for anything more than the Speaker's recommendations would cause the loss of women's suffrage altogether. Thus, without going to council first or consulting with the constituencies, the executive decided to make a major change to NUWSS policy and accept an age limit for women rather than hold out for the vote on the same terms as men.
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Irish Rugby and the First World War

Irish Rugby and the First World War

The collective sacrifice made by rugby union was one of the most popular contemporary rhetorical links made in Britain between sport and the First World War. Tony Collins has pointed out that in an English context, and of all sports, rugby union was the most enthusiastic supporter of the war effort. Its openly ideological stance, often framed in contradistinction to other sports, saw the game cultivate for itself an identity based upon ideas of manliness, patriotism and selflessness. The game of rugby union, and the qualities its supporters claimed that it inculcated, became directly analogous to the virtues needed in the effective soldier. Much of this stemmed from the game’s links with elite education institutions. As Collins has concluded: ‘Rugby Union saw itself as the very embodiment of the late Victorian and Edwardian ideal as practised in the Public Schools – vigorous, masculine, militaristic, and patriotic.’ 2 It was a game that shunned individualism, the
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Tribute to the Fallen: The Evolution of Canadian Battlefield Burials during the First World War

Tribute to the Fallen: The Evolution of Canadian Battlefield Burials during the First World War

While the army continued to re-issue existing orders to emphasize the need to follow burial procedures, it also addressed some of the poor conditions that had been detrimental to soldiers being able to bury and record graves. One of the most significant was the institution of the Corps and Divisional Burial Officers, an idea spawned by a meeting that Fabian Ware had at Fourth Army Headquarters in 1916. Ware expressed concern about the lack of a proper organization charged with burying the dead after an action. During the Somme, he explained, it would be impossible to institute a proper organization due to the severe fighting. Moreover, Ware was also concerned that if bodies were not buried it would impact the morale of both soldiers and civilians back in Britain, as well as his work of registering the graves. It was soon after this meeting that the Corps and Divisional Burial Officer positions were created to take over the administration of burials. 70 By March 1917, the establishment of the Corps and Divisional Burial Officer positions was noted in a circular message from the headquarters of the 2 nd Canadian Infantry Brigade. It stated that instructions had been received from the Canadian Corps that an officer would be designated the Divisional Burial Officer and be appointed in charge of the burial of the dead from that Division after an action. Moreover, it noted that the Divisional Burial Officer would work under the instruction of the Corps Burial Officer,
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Organized Patriotism and the Crucible of War: Popular Imperialism in Britain, 1914 1932

Organized Patriotism and the Crucible of War: Popular Imperialism in Britain, 1914 1932

undistinguished’ because of a lack of previous experience in areas besides conscription agitation (p. 63). For Hendley, the NSL’s pre-war political partisanship, reluctance to embrace or encourage women’s activism, and singular focus made it redundant and unable to revive itself. Essentially, the NSL serves as Hendley’s example of how not to react to the ‘crucible’ of the First World War. At times, the discussion arguably casts the NSL as a pantomime villain, conspicuously failing in its schemes thanks to flaws evident to everyone but itself.

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Conrad and the First World War

Conrad and the First World War

Wyndham Lewis believed the ‘curtain went down’ on Conrad and Henry James in 1914 (Lewis, p. 222). Because he was in Poland between August and November 1914, Conrad was not summoned at the outbreak of the war by C.F.G. Masterman, head of the British War Propaganda Bureau, to a meeting of writers at Wellington House in London. Nevertheless, Conrad’s wartime work responds to the consequences of this meeting. According to Samuel Hynes, Masterman, in recruiting ageing war propagandists such as Hardy, Kipling, and Wells, initiated the concept of ‘the Old Men, as the makers of the war and enemies of the young’ (Hynes, p. 26). This polarisation of home front and battlefield, the soldier and the home-front observer, saw Conrad accept the relative obsolescence of the writer during war: ‘It seems almost criminal levity to talk at this time of books, stories, publication. This war attends my uneasy pillow like a nightmare. I feel oppressed even in my sleep and the moment of waking brings no relief’ (CL 5, 439). Conrad’s fatigue was revealed when ‘Poland Revisited,’ previously published in the Daily News and the Boston Evening Transcript in 1915, was offered to Edith Wharton for The Book of the Homeless (1916), a volume of propaganda whose proceeds aided Belgian refugees. ‘Poland Revisited’ recalled Conrad’s 1914 journey to Poland in heightened Romantic language, featuring an elegiac, pastoral representation of pre-war Britain along with memories of Conrad’s original arrival in a Dickensian London. Conrad recognised ‘the futilities of an individual past,’ the traditional material for his fiction, instead noting the emergence of modern European history in ‘the faint boom of the big guns at work on the coast of Flanders – shaping the future’ (NLL, 173). ‘Poland Revisited’ captures Conrad’s sense of history in flux: his journey to Poland revisiting and symbolically entombing the world of the nineteenth century.
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World War One through Scottish eyes. Scots and identity in the British army during the First World War.

World War One through Scottish eyes. Scots and identity in the British army during the First World War.

Arguably Sorley’s stay in Germany before the war was at least as important for his feeling of identity as the First World War. It was in Germany that he fell in love with the country and the people, and where he became aware of Britain’s shortcomings more than ever before. It was in Germany too that he first experienced a feeling of nationalism, albeit not towards his home country. Throughout his stay in Germany, he was confronted with identity as never before. Continuing to identify himself as a Scotsman, he moved away from Britain in this period already. In the army, his feelings of identity only radicalized. Although continuing to pride himself on his Scottish ancestry, his loathing for Great Britain continued to grow during his training and active service. During his time he expressed his aversion against Great Britain and the Briton time and again, to the extent the name of his own country made him sick. A passionate admirer of Germany, having to fight his second homeland disgusted him. Believing in the good intentions of both sides, their lack of understanding for each other caused a war that his conscience and surroundings forced him to fight. Dreaming of a future in which nationalism no longer played a role, Sorley was killed fighting a country that he loved in the name of a country he came to dislike with a passion.
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British Diplomacy on Albania during the First World War

British Diplomacy on Albania during the First World War

During the First World War, British statesmen expressed the support for the principle of nationality and the obligation of the United Kingdom for the protection of the nations of Europe, and very often special emphasis in their speeches was dedicated to small nations, and their protection was presented as one of the main objectives of the war of British Government. Thus, on 4 September 1914, British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith and Bonar Law spoke of Germany's attack on the nations of Europe and the obligation of Great Britain to defend them (Hanak 1962, 57). Asquith also in November of the year 1917, when he announced the British war aims, emphasized the great importance of the issue of the rights of smaller nationalities of Europe. Lloyd George also very often expressed that Great Britain was fighting on behalf of the small nations (Ibid., 58). At the beginning of the year 1918 he pointed out as follows: “[...] We must know what is meant for equality of right among nations, small as well as great, is one of the fundamental issues this country and her Allies are fighting to establish in this war [...]”.(British War Aims: Statement by the Right Honourable David Lloyd George, 6)
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First World War

First World War

Despite this provocation, President Wilson ruled out a military response in favor of a sharp protest to Germany. Three months later, in August 1915, a U-boat sank another British liner, the Arabic, drowning two Americans. Again the United States protested, and this time Germany agreed not to sink any more passenger ships. But in March 1916 Germany broke its promise and torpedoed an unarmed French passenger steamer, the Sussex. The Sussex sank, and about 80 passengers, including Americans, were killed or injured. Once again the United States warned that it would break off diplomatic relations unless Germany changed its tactics. Again Germany agreed, but there was a condition: if the United States could not persuade Britain to lift its blockade against food and fertilizers, Germany would consider renewing unrestricted submarine warfare.
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From Brel to Black Metal: The First World War in Popular Music and Music Videos

From Brel to Black Metal: The First World War in Popular Music and Music Videos

establishment approach (the last three all titled ‘Remembrance Day’). Gary Miller’s 2010 album Reflections on War also comprises a suite of six songs that look back at the War which stemmed from his involvement in a community arts project in York, England. Working with the participants Miller wrote a set of songs based on their ideas and memories. A different approach to memory is taken in Barclay James Harvest’s ‘The Ballad of Denshaw Mill’ which invokes the Christian story of Christmas and the thoughts for loved ones at the front using Christmas as a universal image of hope. It uses ‘mythical’ imagery but instead of saying what happened to people or describing events it concentrates on what they thought and how the persistence of memory has resonance today.
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Archipelagic poetry of the First World War

Archipelagic poetry of the First World War

Arguably, though, the poem’s intellectual and affective power is dissipated by its form and diction. This is a poem about the sudden shock of confronting a friend’s death, yet its tetrameters are unruffled while its simple rhymes chime with glib felicity; it risks the realism of a ‘soiled stretcher’ but euphemistically describes violent death in the trenches as a falling ‘adrift / From life’. It seems that Anglo-Scottish and Anglo-Irish officer-poets, like the overwhelming majority of their English equivalents, were on the receiving end of a sophisticated poetic education that left them ill- equipped to deal with even the simplest of war’s arbitrary brutalities: like so many dashing, highly-trained cavalrymen in a time of machine guns, barbed wire, and high-explosive ordnance. If both popular culture, as expressed by MacGill and Lee, and the elite culture of the officer class tended to homogenise the British poetic response to war, there remained an alternative in the Celtic literary ideal which had been encouraged in the nineteenth century by the cultural theories of Matthew Arnold and Ernest Renan and had lately flourished in the Irish literary revival and the Celtic and Doric revivals in Scotland, and in the persisting Cymraeg bardic tradition in Wales. Alan Mackintosh was a young poet with a similar background to the officer-writers discussed above. Scottish through ancestry but English by birth and formation, Mackintosh threw himself into the Celtic idea at Oxford and restyled himself as a highland poet, going so far as to learn Gaelic and the bagpipes. The persona that emerges in his poetry is that of a fatalist, drawing on a long tradition of Scottish defeat and lamentation to prepare himself for the sublime trial and inescapable suffering of war. This is seen most nakedly in ‘The German and the Gael’, which offers a kind of grim consolation by contrasting an enemy army sure in its purpose and confident of victory with Gaelic troops who advance, ‘Hopeless as went our fathers’ to what appears an inevitable, if fearlessly-faced, annihilation: the Germans ‘dream the fight is theirs, / Therefore they will not flee, / But we go darkly out to meet / The fate we cannot see.’ 13
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