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Soldiers, Propaganda and Ideas of Home and Community in First World War Britain

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Abstract:

This article considers the ties between soldiers and civilian life in First World War Britain. Previous assumptions about soldierly alienation and disillusionment from civilian society have been questioned in recent years. This article adds to this discussion by examining the part played by National War Aims Committee propaganda in fostering links between soldiers and the home front. Representation of civilian activities, community, rurality and domesticity offered reassurance that Britain remained largely the same as soldiers remembered. The involvement of soldiers as propagandists also shows that attitudes cannot be deduced solely from the perspective of literary depictions of alienation.

Keywords: COMMUNITY; DOMESTICITY; FIRST WORLD WAR; HOME; PROPAGANDA; RURALITY; SOLDIERS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800411X13026260433031

Affiliations: History Programme, School of Humanities, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand; david.monger@ canterbury.ac.nz

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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