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Collective remembrance, Second World War mythology and national heritage on the Isle of Man

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Residents of the Isle of Man have long sought to retain close social, cultural and economic ties with Great Britain while simultaneously stressing their own distinctive national identity. The manner by which the Manx have commemorated their participation in the Second World War is indicative of this tension. This article argues that one means by which a distinctive Manx identity has been retained is by highlighting subtle differences from supposedly common experiences in British and Manx history through how they have been commemorated. Thus, in their treatment of the internment of 'enemy aliens' on the Isle of Man during the Second World War, Manx heritage sites and commemorative practices have incorporated an element of home front experience that is marginalized and deliberately ignored in the United Kingdom.

Keywords: Isle of Man; commemoration; heritage; internment; remembrance of Second World War

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: McMaster University, Canada

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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