University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Representing, Remembering and Rewriting Women’s Histories of the First World War

Andrews, Maggie, Fell, A., Noakes, L. and Purvis, J. (2017) Representing, Remembering and Rewriting Women’s Histories of the First World War. Women's History Review, 27 (4). pp. 511-515. ISSN 0961-2025 Online: 1747-583X

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As Dan Todman has persuasively argued, in the British popular imagination the First World War is associated with mud, barbed wire, the trenches and the Tommy on the Western Front.
Perhaps inevitably, therefore, public commemoration of the war has often been dominated by a focus on the men in the armed forces, who risked or lost their lives for causes that at the time may or may not have seemed heroic, noble or simply unavoidable. The visual spectacle of Paul Cummins’ ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the art installation at the Tower of London in which 888,246 ceramic poppies filled the moat from 17 July to 11 November 2014, was the most visited artistic response to the war in its centenary years, while Jeremy Deller’s ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’, commemorating the first day of the Battle of the Somme, provided a widely seen and moving memorial to the victims.22. ‘We’re here because we’re here’ marked the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Hundreds of volunteers, working with the artist Jeremy Deller, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the National Theatre and 1914–18 NOW, commemorated the centenary by re-enacting as soldiers in cities, towns and the countryside around Britain. First World War soldiers were seen at train stations, shopping centres, beaches, car parks and high streets.
This vision of the conflict, focusing exclusively on the combatant dead, should not, however, become the only history of the conflict. There are, as the research brought together here demonstrates, multiple histories of the First World War.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: women's history, First World War, public commemoration, rewriting women's histories,
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Maggie Andrews
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 09:47
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:16

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