Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Total WarAn Emotional History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lucy Noakes, Claire Langhamer, and Claudia Siebrecht

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266663

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266663.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 25 November 2020

Communities of Feeling: Fear, Death, and Grief in the Writing of British Servicemen in the Second World War

Communities of Feeling: Fear, Death, and Grief in the Writing of British Servicemen in the Second World War

Chapter:
(p.116) 7 Communities of Feeling: Fear, Death, and Grief in the Writing of British Servicemen in the Second World War
Source:
Total War
Author(s):

Lucy Noakes

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266663.003.0007

The Second World War saw the conscription and mobilisation of around 5.8 million British men for military service. Very few had any prior military experience or training. This chapter looks at some of the letters, diaries, and memoirs written by men serving in the Army to consider how they tried to construct a new, militarised sense of identity, and the emotional styles that they used to communicate this. Letters, diaries, and memoirs provided a resource for both the expression of emotions that could not be articulated in the military community, and for the process of fashioning a new militarised selfhood. Drawing on work undertaken by historians working on the construction of selfhood, the chapter examines a range of these documents to consider the ways that men constructed and articulated this new militarised identity, and the emotional styles that they utilised to do so. However, war provided multiple challenges to these new, hybrid, identities, none more so than the threat of death, or the death of friends and comrades. The chapter concludes by considering the emotional styles that some men used to record their encounters with death, and the ways that these encounters could destabilise their new, militarised, selfhoods.

Keywords:   selfhood, emotions, military, masculinity, Second World War, Britain, death, diary, letters, memoir

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.