Commémorer la Grande Guerre dans les Public Schools Anglaises : Continuités et Ruptures des Modes de Représentation (1918-1945) - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2018

Commémorer la Grande Guerre dans les Public Schools Anglaises : Continuités et Ruptures des Modes de Représentation (1918-1945)

Clémence Pillot
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Abstract

In the early stages of the war, British public schoolboys volunteered en masse as shown by the revealing examples of Winchester College and Eton College. Between August and December 1914, all but eight of the 539 boys who had left Winchester between 1909 and 1915 volunteered to serve, so that, for the first time in five hundred years, not a single boy went up to Oxford in the autumn of that year. At Eton, up to 1,157 old boys laid down their lives for their country, a number larger than the size of the whole school at the beginning of the war. In the end, the death rate of public schoolboys who served in the Great War was of 18% as opposed to 11% nationally – and data suggest it was sometimes almost twice as high in some schools including Eton, Winchester, Rugby and Harrow. As public schools emerged from the war with their lost generation of boys, how did they choose to commemorate the Great War and was some of this paradigmatic change noticeable in the 1920s and 1930s remembrance processes? This paper will first look at the corporate way in which public schools as ‘communities in mourning’, as they were referred to by war historian Jay Winter, chose to remember their war dead. It will then turn to the war memorials of the 1920s to assess whether public schools followed national trends, which saw forms of triumphant militarism progressively being shelved. And end up with the literary output of the interwar years moving away from Brookish discourses on the glorious death towards more informed views of the war on the eve of the second world conflict.
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hal-03682145 , version 1 (30-05-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03682145 , version 1

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Clémence Pillot. Commémorer la Grande Guerre dans les Public Schools Anglaises : Continuités et Ruptures des Modes de Représentation (1918-1945). War Memories International Symposium, Jun 2018, Kingston, Canada. ⟨hal-03682145⟩
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