April 27, 2006

image from University of Bradford website)

I was with this battalion when it was first formed, when I was a private just turned twenty: but I left it, as a casualty, in the summer of 1916 and never saw it again, being afterwards transferred to another regiment. The very secretary who wrote asking me to attend this dinner was unknown to me, having joined the battalion after I had left it. So I did not expect to see many there who had belonged to the old original lot, because I knew only too well that a large number of them, some of them my friends, had been killed. But the thought of meeting again the few I would remember, the men who had shared with me those training camps in 1914 and the first half of 1915 and those trenches in the autumn and winter of 1915 and the spring of 1916, was very exciting. Read the rest of this entry »


Shared Experience

April 25, 2006

Review article just submitted to Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research


Shared Experience: Art and War

Imperial War Museum, London

23 March-25 June 2006


This joint exhibition between the Imperial War Museum, the Australian War Memorial and the Canadian War Museum draws on the work of official war artists from each country to illustrate the experience and impact of the Second World War on Britain and two of her Dominions. Nearly one hundred works of art, the majority paintings, are organised into seven sections: Battle, Work, Leisure, Service, Casualties, Captivity and Home. It is a stimulating collection which is well worth a visit, but which frustrates as much as it inspires. Read the rest of this entry »

Intruding memories

April 11, 2006

Still trying to find the time to update the page format to suit IE users, or to take the next step of actually running the site for myself. In the meantime, a quick post on a subject which has been running round my head for a bit.
Historians of the 'cultural memory' of the First World War have tended to assume that during the Second World War, Britons forgot about the previous conflict because they had something more immediately important on their minds. In fact, of course, 1939-45 was a massive spur to memory, but paper rationing, a desire for distraction from war and fear of bombing all reduced the occurrence of publications and public ceremonies connected to 1914-18. I've suggested elsewhere that one feature of the early days of the Home Guard in 1940 was its function as a remembering club for veterans of the earlier conflict. I've also made use of the film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), which uses the character created by David Low, but celebrates his participation in the First World War.
I’ve recently been re-viewing a couple of other Second World War movies, and I think that I actually could have made far more use of this idea of the First World War creeping through than I actually did. Read the rest of this entry »


April 4, 2006

To sum up the comments below, if you're looking at this using Internet Explorer, it won't look as good as it could. I think that, given enough time, I can teach myself to get into the nuts and bolts of wordpress (thanks to Esther for the link) and sort out some of the design issues (not least moving the central line towards the right. Or I will find a template that does all this for me (grateful for suggestions). But you might have to wait a bit: bear with me. 

Cut Price Todman

April 3, 2006

Damnit, all my books are 34% off on Amazon! Is that a good or a bad thing? In terms of sales I have no idea – but obviously bad news if you bought a copy of the latest one at full price… On the other hand, the Alanbrooke Diaries in paperback is now cheaper than I can get it from the publishers, so I guess that gives me something to hand out at school presentations

New host

April 3, 2006

All right, like a pathetic sheep, and having had enough of the rather inanimate blogger format, I've switched to wordpress. And I really really want to be able to categorise my posts, and that's much easier here. And hopefully now that I've switched to a white backed screen, I'll stop getting posts from people telling me they can't read white on black (I find it easier, but hell, I guess that's just my wonky eyes). 

Hello world!

April 3, 2006

Trench fever hits Word press!