The demobilisation of soldiers has always been fraught with questions regarding jobs, re-skilling, pensions, rehabilitation and transition into peace time society. Such challenges were particularly pronounced at the apexes of the First and Second World Wars due to the sheer scale of demobilisation. Read more
Posts from the ‘social history’ Category
On 22 May 1915, ‘a gay-hearted youth’, William Fielding Sames, sat outside his dug-out in Gallipoli (modern-day Turkey) drinking a cup of tea. Even though he was just 22-years-old, William had been in the Army for five years, been promoted to Lieutenant and served in Egypt. Yet, the decision to sit and drink this cup of tea was to prove fatal. While he sat with his tea a bullet penetrated his lung. William died nine days later while on the way to a military hospital in Greece. He was buried at sea on 31 May 1915.
Mike Leigh’s Peterloo recounts the weeks leading up to the infamous massacre of peaceful working-class protestors by the yeomanry at St Peter’s Field, Manchester on 16 August 1819. It is hard to identify a single protagonist, Leigh presents the viewer with a naturalistic bird’s-eye view, sweeping from mass meetings chaired by self-proclaimed ‘radicals’, young and old, male and female, to the intimacy of a husband and wife discussing the upcoming march in bed before going to sleep. Read more