Memorial text narratives in Britain, c. 1890-1930

Batten, Sonia Letitia (2011). Memorial text narratives in Britain, c. 1890-1930. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis seeks to explore the memorial texts that developed as a result of the First World War, composed primarily by those whose sons, husbands and fathers had died between 1914 and 1918. Visitors to the military cemeteries of the First World War are interested to read the inscriptions left by the bereaved at the foot of individual headstones, yet this aspect of post-war commemoration is still largely unexplored. This thesis seeks to explore these responses: by considering the process through which the bereaved were permitted to select inscriptions, the sources from which they derived consolation, and the narratives that they pursued throughout the post-war period to 1930. Parallel to these permanent headstone inscriptions are considered the ephemeral commemoration of the newspaper in memoriam column, a source of material that has received scant attention but which promises a rich glimpse into the conventions of early-twentieth-century mourning – conventions which are still resonant almost a century after the First World War broke out. To contextualise post-war responses, the thesis introduces commemorative practices used to remember those who died in the South African War and in the sinking of the Titanic, many of which were used again in the aftermath of 1918.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Historical Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


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