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Friday, 27 March 2015

Research Highlights Silent Warriors of First World War

1917 poster. Courtesy of the LOC.
From the News and Features section of the Northumbria University website.

A Northumbria University, Newcastle research student is calling for the women of World War One to be recognised.

John Hulme, a Master of Research student in History, asks why women rarely feature on war memorials despite the significance of their contributions during the war period. Using memorials, archives, databases and the works of several historians, John’s research considers the status of women in Edwardian England, contemporary views of the war and the role of women in it, and memory and memorialisation.

His research paper, entitled ‘Commemorating the Women of World War One, Never or Now?’ concludes that the time is right for a discussion of a new memorial: one that fully recognises the contribution women made to the British victory in the First World War.

John said: “First World War memorials are a ubiquitous feature of our built environment, present in every city, town and village. Writers of the time acknowledged the presence of women in many wartime occupations from 1914 onwards. Women replaced men in factories and offices as well as filling jobs created to meet the demands of the war, including producing munitions, manufacturing aircraft and nursing the wounded.

“My paper seeks to address why, given this contribution, women feature so rarely on war memorials.”

The topic is particularly timely as it takes place during the nation’s four-year commemoration of the Great War of 1914-18. With 2014 marking 100 years since the start of the war, the Government is leading on a series of remembrance activities taking place across the country. Coordinated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the events will culminate in the building of a permanent commemoration that will memorialise this significant milestone in world history. >>> read on

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