Veterans


When we look at how the First World War was ‘remembered’ in the 1960s, we need to remember that a) there were still a lot of veterans alive (c. 2m in 1961, by one estimate) and b) that although they might look old, many were still active. They retained a wide variety of different views about their war service – and rehearsed them sufficiently strongly to avoid being immediately overwhelmed by new ‘anti-war’ texts like Oh What a Lovely War. Here, British veterans play football after the 50th anniversary commemoration at Thiepval, on the Somme, July 1966 (thus combining the myth of chasing a football over the top, and the notorious ‘two world wars and one world cup’ chant!).
I would really like to use this photo in my book. I found it through the Liddle Archives at the University of Leeds, but they have no details as to its provenance (it looks like it was cut from a newspaper). If you have any clue where it came from, please let me know.

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