We’ll meet again, but will we forget again?: Voluntarism in the Second World War and COVID-19.

Charlotte Tomlinson, University of Leeds C.h.tomlinson@leeds.ac.uk @charltommo Everywhere you look, it seems that discussions about COVID-19 are flooded with analogies of the Second World War. The language used to describe the pandemic, and particularly how society should respond to it, has made heavy use of allusions to the war through militarised language – NHS workers … Continued

We need to talk about batteries not ‘Blitz spirit’

Dr Henry Irving, Leeds Beckett University @drhenryirving Is the toilet roll shortage a chapter or a footnote? The last few days have involved a lot of discussion of what ‘future historians’ will make of the UK government’s response to Covid-19, but there has been far less of the practical decisions that those working in the … Continued

She Wanted to See A Soldier

Dr David Clampin, Liverpool John Moores University @WWIIadvertising   A couple of years ago I was asked by the National Trust to work with them at their Formby Beach site. Formby beach is an important ecological site made up of ‘dramatic sand dunes, surrounded by sweeping coastal pinewoods’. It is well known locally, and beyond, … Continued

Acknowledge the Acknowledgments

Dr Henry Irving, Leeds Beckett University @drhenryirving One of the most important things I learned during my undergraduate degree was that academics read differently. Critical analysis, the lecturers’ said, was as important as comprehension. I still remember feeling shocked when one explained that they would begin marking an essay by looking at the bibliography. “But, … Continued

Rebuilding Britain’s Blitzed Cities

Dr Catherine Flinn is Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, where she completed a PhD in modern British history in 2012. Her background prior to the doctorate was in architecture, planning and the historic built environment. Her current research focuses on postwar reconstruction, in particular the political, economic and cultural impacts on rebuilding and redevelopment.

Her contribution to the Research Exchange coincides with the launch of her book, ‘Rebuilding Britain’s Blitzed Cities: Hopeful Dreams, Stark Realities’ which is published by Bloomsbury and will be launched at Churchill College, Cambridge, on 1 May 2019.

Welshness and Britishness: The Case of Richard Llewellyn

Dr Wendy Ugolini is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests focus on the relationship between war and identity in the twentieth century. Her first monograph, ‘Experiencing War as the “Enemy Other”: Italian Scottish Experience in World War II’ (Manchester University Press, 2011), was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize.

In her contribution to the Research Exchange, she discusses the dual Welsh and British identity she explores in her recent article for Cultural and Social History: ‘The “Welsh” Pimpernel: Richard Llewellyn and the Search for Authenticity in Second World War Britain’.

War and Childhood

Dr Mischa Honeck and Dr James Marten are co-editors of ‘War and Childhood in the Era of the Two World Wars’, an new edited volume published by Cambridge University Press. In their contribution to the Research Exchange, they reflect on the young lives and uncomfortable realities featured in this collection, which complicates the standard equation of childhood and victimhood in times of war.

Dr Mischa Honeck teaches US and transatlantic history at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.  He was a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, and is the author of Our Frontier Is the World: The Boy Scouts in the Age of American Ascendancy (Cornell University Press, 2018).

Dr James Marten is Chair of History at Marquette University, Wisconsin, and a leading authority in both the history of the US Civil War and the history of childhood, whose books include ‘The Children’s Civil War’ (University of North Carolina Press, 1998).