Altered memories of the Great War: Divergent narratives of by Mark Sheftall

By Mark Sheftall

The stories of global battle I touched the lives of a iteration yet stories of this momentous event range vastly in the course of the international. In Britain, there has been a robust response opposed to militarism yet within the Dominion powers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand the reaction used to be very assorted. For those former colonial powers, the event of battle was once principally accredited as a countrywide ceremony of passage and their delight and admire for his or her squaddies’ sacrifices came across its concentration in a robust nationalist drive.  How did a unmarried, supposedly shared adventure galvanize such contrasting reactions? What does it display approximately previous, pre-existing rules of nationwide identification? and the way did the reminiscence of conflict impact later rules of self-determination and nationhood?

Altered thoughts of the nice War is the 1st e-book to check the specific collective narratives that emerged inside of Britain and the Dominions in keeping with international conflict I. It powerfully illuminates the diversities in addition to the similarities among various stories of warfare and gives interesting insights into what this finds approximately constructing thoughts of nationwide id within the aftermath of worldwide battle I.

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White political and cultural institutions) that would develop there, if it developed at all, would be significantly inferior to NEW WORLD SONS OF EMPIRE 37 that of the British Isles? It was a view that was at least as prevalent in the Dominions themselves as in the Motherland. ’3 However, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the continued demographic expansion and economic and political development of the Dominions was accompanied by a growing consciousness among the residents of these countries – particularly among the native-born – of their identification with the land in which they lived, and with the types of societies evolving under the Antipodean sun or in the chillier climes of North America.

60 2 New World Sons of Empire New World Paragons Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean, the Australian journalist whose accounts and descriptions of the nation’s soldiers in the First World War would play a pre-eminent role in enshrining the ideal of the ‘digger’ within the country’s culture, was struck during his assignment as a correspondent at Gallipoli in 1915 by what he saw as a stark contrast between the physical and mental attributes of the average British soldier and those of the typical Australian fighting man.

Although individuals who did not hail from backgrounds of privilege could learn the code, many Victorian and Edwardian Britons believed that it came naturally only to those who could claim an aristocratic lineage. This stands to reason, since the code of the gentleman, to a large degree, was an edifice whose foundations rested on a celebration and application of certain ideals that many nineteenth-century Britons associated with 24 ALTERED MEMORIES OF THE GREAT WAR the aristocratic warrior culture of mediaeval knights.

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