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
Chapter 2. Ex-servicemen and the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association, 1919-21
Chapter 3. Between Workers and Soldiers: The Relationship between the Labour Party and Ex-servicemen after the First World War
Chapter 4. ‘A Fighting Man and a Thinking Man’: The British Left, Ex-Servicemen, and Working-Class Culture, 1914-1924
Chapter 5. Revolution, Ex-Servicemen, and the Cork Branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers, 1918-21
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
Chapter 7. ‘Still in the Ranks of the Old Corps, Though Not on Active Service’: Women’s Veteran Organisations in Interwar Britain.
Chapter 8. Paternalism and Prosthetics: Life for Disabled Veterans and Their Families on a Post-War Settlement
Chapter 9. Wounded in a Mentionable Place: The (In)visibility of the Disabled Ex-serviceman in Inter-war Britain
Chapter 10. Ex-Prisoners of War, 1914-18: Veteran Association, Assimilation and Disassociation After the First World War