1st Edition

Veterans of the First World War Ex-Servicemen and Ex-Servicewomen in Post-War Britain and Ireland

Edited By David Swift, Oliver Wilkinson Copyright 2019
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume synthesises the latest scholarship on First World War veterans in post-war Britain and Ireland, investigating the topic through its political, social and cultural dynamics. It examines the post-war experiences of those men and women who served and illuminates the nature of the post-war society for which service had been given. Complicating the homogenising tendency in existing scholarship it offers comparison of the experiences of veterans in different regions of Britain, including perspectives drawn from Ireland. Further nuance is offered by the assessment of the experiences of ex-servicewomen alongside those of ex-servicemen, such focus deeping understanding into the gendered specificities of post-war veteran activities and experiences. Moreover, case studies of specific cohorts of veterans are offered, including focus on disabled veterans and ex-prisoners of war.

    In these regards the collection offers vital updates to existing scholarship while bringing important new departures and challenges to the current interpretive frameworks of veteran experiences in post-war Britain and Ireland.

    List of Contributors


    List of Abbreviations

    Introduction British Veterans after the First World War

    David Swift & Oliver Wilkinson

    Chapter 1. The Deep Roots of The British Legion: The Emergence of First World War British Veterans’ Organisations

    Mike Hally

    Chapter 2. Ex-servicemen and the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association, 1919-21

    Paul Huddie

    Chapter 3. Between Workers and Soldiers: The Relationship between the Labour Party and Ex-servicemen after the First World War

    Marcus Morris

    Chapter 4. ‘A Fighting Man and a Thinking Man’: The British Left, Ex-Servicemen, and Working-Class Culture, 1914-1924

    David Swift

    Chapter 5. Revolution, Ex-Servicemen, and the Cork Branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers, 1918-21

    John Borgonovo

    Chapter 6. ‘It’s up to you now to fight for your own country’: Ireland’s Great War Veterans in the War of Independence, 1919-21

    Steven O’Connor

    Chapter 7. ‘Still in the Ranks of the Old Corps, Though Not on Active Service’: Women’s Veteran Organisations in Interwar Britain.

    Krisztina Robert

    Chapter 8. Paternalism and Prosthetics: Life for Disabled Veterans and Their Families on a Post-War Settlement

    Martin Purdy

    Chapter 9. Wounded in a Mentionable Place: The (In)visibility of the Disabled Ex-serviceman in Inter-war Britain

    Jessica Meyer

    Chapter 10. Ex-Prisoners of War, 1914-18: Veteran Association, Assimilation and Disassociation After the First World War

    Oliver Wilkinson







    David Swift is the Kreitman Postdoctoral Fellow at Ben Gurion University of the Negev

    Oliver Wilkinson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton