1st Edition

British Concepts of Heroic "Gallantry" and the Sixties Transition The Politics of Medals

By Matthew J. Lord Copyright 2021
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the relationship between concepts of heroic "gallantry," as projected by the British honours system, and the sociocultural, political, military and international transitions of the supposed Sixties "cultural revolution." In so doing, it considers how a conservative, hierarchical and state-orientated concept both evolved and endured during a period of immense change in which traditional assumptions of deference to elites were increasingly challenged. Covering the period often defined as "The Long Sixties," from 1955–79, this study concentrates on four distinct transitions undergone by both state and non-state gallantry awards, including developments within the welfare state, class and gender discrimination, counterinsurgency and decolonisation. It ultimately sheds fresh light upon the importance of postwar decades to the continued evolution of concepts of gallantry and heroism in British culture using a range of underexplored government and media archives. It will be of interest to scholars, students and general researchers of heroism in modern Britain, the Sixties revolution, postwar military history and both the social and political evolution of British honours, decorations and medals.


    1. Gallantry and Welfare

    2. Gallantry and Standardisation

    3. Gallantry and Dirty Wars

    4. Gallantry and Decolonization



    Matthew J. Lord has lectured in history, political science and international relations at Aberystwyth University, the University of Central Lancashire and the University of Leeds.