‘It’s in the Blood, isn’t it?’ The Contested Status of First World War Veterans in Second World War Civil Defense

Title‘It’s in the Blood, isn’t it?’ The Contested Status of First World War Veterans in Second World War Civil Defense
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHammett, Jessica
JournalCultural and Social History
Volume14
Issue3
Start Page343
Pagination343-361
Date Published04/2017
Abstract

This article examines how ex-servicemen’s memories of the First World War shaped their experience of working in civil defence during the Second. In response to ongoing public criticism of civil defence as a whole and a dismissive attitude towards veterans in particular, these men expressed a distinct form of ‘useful masculinity’, rooted in their combat experience and developed within the particular context of civil defence. I will argue that through the group setting in which remembering took place, veterans were able to oppose dominant cultural narratives and to develop and express these alternative narratives about their value.[From Author]

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