condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

The Enduring Impact of the First World War: A Collection of Perspectives

Bulletin of the Auckland Museum, Volume 21 (2020)
Edited by Gail Romano and Kingsley Baird · ISSN: 2744-3590

https://dx.doi.org/10.32912/bulletin/21
Jump to Table of Contents · Jump to PDF downloads

 

Foreword

Cover image: Captain W. J. (Bill ) Knox M.C. ( 13th Field Artillery, A.I.F.) on his last leave with his daughter, Diana, on Bognor Regis beach, England, June 1917.

Cover image: Captain W. J. (Bill ) Knox M.C. ( 13th Field Artillery, A.I.F.) on his last leave with his daughter, Diana, on Bognor Regis beach, England, June 1917.

Courtesy Kate Baillieu

Auckland Museum has long been in the business of initiating, supporting and disseminating original research on a range of contemporary and historical topics. Facilitating the deep interrogation of an issue from multiple perspectives and providing a platform for discussion are core functions for the museum to deliver. It is our hope that greater understanding and inspiration will come from well-informed debate and illuminating little-known facts. The museum’s collections serve as evidence for this research activity and, along with knowledge and expertise that surrounds them, they are an increasingly global resource.

The collection of articles in The Enduring Impact of the First World War: A Collection of Perspectives is a rich gathering of insights reflecting on a pivotal year in world history a century later and were all drawn from The Myriad Faces of War symposium held in 2017. This successful international symposium was conceived and led by the War, History, Heritage, Art and Memory Research Network (WHAM), in partnership with Massey University, Auckland War Memorial Museum, The University of Auckland and Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

The examination of conflict and its impact, the subject of the symposium and this Bulletin, is central to the Museum’s identity as a war memorial and is facilitated through its war galleries, online Cenotaph database of New Zealanders who have served historically, and through its programming.

David Reeves
Director, Collections & Research
Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira
22 February 2020

Acknowledgements

The Enduring Impact of the First World War: A Collection of Perspectives comprises eighteen peer-reviewed articles developed from selected papers presented in the international symposium "The Myriad Faces of War: 1917 and its Legacy", held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 2017.

The editors thank Maartje Abbenhuis, Neill Atkinson, Louise Furey, Glyn Harper, Rebecca Johns, Ian Proctor, David Reeves, and Euan Robertson for their contributions to the collection and the peer review or editing processes.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Gail Romano and Kingsley Baird

    The narrative of 1917 and its legacy is characterised by a multitude of perspectives, practices, cultures, histories, locations, and expressions. It is the richness and diversity associated with this year that inspired a significant international symposium in 2017 during the centenary of the First World War, The Myriad Faces of War: 1917 and its Legacy.

    Read more
  • ‘That Huge, Haunted Solitude’

    Paul Gough
    Arts University Bournemouth

    In 1917 the British government took the unprecedented decision to ban the depiction of the corpses of British and Allied troops in officially sponsored war art. A decade later, in 1927, Australian painter Will Longstaff exhibited Menin Gate at Midnight which shows a host of phantom soldiers emerging from the soil of the Flanders battlegrounds and marching towards Herbert Baker’s immense memorial arch.

    Read more
  • The Alterity of the Readymade

    Marcus Moore
    Massey University

    In April 1917, a porcelain urinal titled Fountain was submitted by Marcel Duchamp (or by his female friend, Louise Norton) under the pseudonym ‘R. MUTT’, to the Society of Independent Artists in New York. The Society’s committee refused to show it in their annual exhibition of some 2,125 works held at the Grand Central Palace.

    Read more
  • ‘The Past We Harvest That Was Yours’

    Kingsley Baird
    Massey University

    In 2004 the remains of a First World War soldier were disinterred from the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery in France and returned to New Zealand to be reburied in the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial in Wellington. The warrior’s original resting place in the Somme was in a Commonwealth (formerly Imperial) War Graves Commission cemetery.

    Read more
  • Singing From the Same Song Sheet

    Paul D. Turner
    Massey University

    This article reviews how singing came to be used as part of the school experience in 1917 to foster a sense of patriotism, and to support New Zealand’s commitment to the First World War.

    Read more
  • ‘He died for us’

    Steve Watters
    Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage

    On Anzac Day 2015, the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, officially opened to the public. With the National War Memorial, dedicated in 1932, at its heart, the development of the park was the government’s key project to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War. The park shared its opening with another First World War commemorative initiative, The Great War Exhibition at the nearby former National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum building.

    Read more
  • Mud, Blood and Not So Much Poppycock

    Alex Mayhew
    London School of Economics and Political Science

    This article explores the origins of the ‘myths’ that have come to dominate popular memory of the First World War in Britain. Perceptions of the conflict as a bloody exercise in futility, orchestrated by inept generals, and fought in fields of mud are undoubtedly unrepresentative.

    Read more
  • 1917 and the Long Reach of War

    Bruce Scates & Rebecca Wheatley
    Australian National University

    Battles, by their very nature, are fixed in time and space. Paradoxically (as several historians have observed) they defy the constraints of linear time and their effects can be felt well into the future. This article explores the way the third battle of Ypres changed the lives of three men caught up in the carnage.

    Read more
  • The Politics of Heroism

    Bryce Abraham
    Australian War Memorial

    Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith is one of the most well-known faces of modern conflict in Australia. The decorated special forces soldier is frequently at the forefront of commemorative initiatives, has become a spokesman for health and sport, and is popularly portrayed as the embodiment of the modern ‘Anzac’. But Roberts-Smith’s social currency as a hero is not a recent phenomenon.

    Read more
  • Having a Good War During a Bad Year

    John Crawford
    New Zealand Defence Force

    To have ‘a good war’ may be defined as ‘making the most of the opportunities presented to one during wartime’. This article focuses on one man who had a good war between 1914 and 1918; with a particular focus on 1917. In 1914 Herbert Hart was a small-town solicitor and officer in the part-time Territorial Force. By the end of the First World War he was a much decorated and highly regarded brigadier-general. The factors that led to Hart having a good war and how they can be seen at work during his career in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force are assessed in this article. How having a good war and becoming a senior officer changed Hart’s experience of war on the western front and the trajectory of his life are also examined.

    Read more
  • ‘Fittingly Displayed’

    Kirstie Ross
    Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

    In 1917, the director of the Dominion Museum in Wellington, New Zealand sent his first form letter to the next-of-kin of New Zealanders awarded medals during the Great War. The director wrote to families, asking them for photographs of their decorated kin, and any other artefacts, ‘in readiness for the time when they can be fittingly displayed’. The outcome of this effort was 71 photographic display boards, now held at Archives New Zealand along with the correspondence associated with the acquisition, reproduction, and display of the photographs.

    Read more
  • The Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry Casket

    Joseph McBrinn
    Ulster University

    In 1917, English artist and actor Ernest Thesiger wrote to the Ministry of Pensions with what must have seemed a somewhat eccentric proposal that they establish an embroidery workshop to provide training and employment for disabled combatants returning from the war. Thesiger suggested the men could initially ‘copy and mend old needlework’ but eventually they should make and sell their own designs.

    Read more
  • Competing Visions of World Order

    Thomas Munro

    Throughout the First World War, neutrals and belligerents publicly defined what they believed their nation’s role in the conflict to be and what they hoped the post-war world would look like. The public discussion in the United States about the structure of post-war international relations drew on a discourse about the nation’s role in world affairs that the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 had significantly shaped. The conferences dealt with a range of issues, such as disarmament, the laws of war, and the development of international organisations, and provided the opportunity for these ideas to be debated in a more public manner than ever before.

    Read more
  • 1917 in Latin America

    María Inés Tato
    University of Buenos Aires

    This article aims to analyse the impact of the United States’ entry into the war on the Latin American intellectual field.

    Read more
  • Wool, Paper, Dye

    Madelyn Shaw & Trish FitzSimons
    National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution & Griffith University

    In the Great War, wool was as essential to success as steel and gunpowder. All combatant nations tried to ensure continuing supplies of this vital resource, but none so successfully as Britain, whose Australian and New Zealand dominions were key sources of the apparel wools sought after for military uniforms and blankets.

    Read more
  • 1917: Germany at the Crossroads

    Michael Epkenhans
    Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces, Potsdam

    In late 1916 Germany stood at the crossroads. Though it had withstood heavy attacks by the Allies and won an unexpected victory over a new enemy, Romania, it was clear that Germany could not win a war without end. As a result, Germany offered a compromise peace. Whether this offer was genuine is still debated by historians.

    Read more
  • The Spirit of 1776/1917

    Laura A. Macaluso

    In the summer of 1917 Americans began preparing to enter the European War. Cantonments and camps sprang up around the country, making doughboys out of farmhands, clerks, factory workers—and college students. New Haven, Connecticut was one such place: the site of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, makers of the Enfield and BAR rifles, home to Yale University and campsite of the 102nd Regiment of the Yankee Division. New Haven has had a sometimes productive, sometimes difficult relationship with the Ivy League school over the course of 300 years.

    Read more
  • ‘Won’t You Meet Us Half-Way?’

    David Littlewood
    Massey University

    The treatment of conscientious objectors is one of the biggest blots on New Zealand’s First World War record. Many of these individuals were imprisoned and deprived of their civil rights, some were brutalised while confined in domestic army camps, and a few were even forcibly transported to the western front. Historians have identified the nine military service boards, established to determine appeals for exemption from conscription, as playing a significant enabling role in this persecution. Labelled as over-zealous and ignorant jingoists, the boards’ members are said to have been far more concerned with ridiculing conscientious objectors’ beliefs than with properly assessing their claims. This article evaluates such assertions by reference to the exemption hearings that took place during 1917.

    Read more
  • The ‘Rules of Engagement’

    Darise Bennington
    Duncan Cotterill Lawyers

    This article will examine New Zealand laws that were introduced during the First World War, and which evolved out of a need to bring order to society at a time of world-wide chaos. It will consider the introduction of laws that dealt with sedition and ‘intoxicating liquor’, issues that challenged the government’s ability to maintain law and order, and the leading legal cases of 1917 arising out of those new laws. These cases helped determine the legality of New Zealand’s role in the Great War, and the extent of the Government’s right to make laws committing New Zealand to conflicts outside its three-mile limits. Also considered will be the ongoing legacies of those laws, how long they continued to be used as a means to control society after the First World War had ended, and whether there are aspects of those laws that have continued to have effect in law and on society up to the present day.

    Read more


Download articles

  • The collection of articles in The Enduring Impact of the First World War: A Collection of Perspectives is a rich gathering of insights reflecting on a pivotal year in world history a century later and were all drawn from The Myriad Faces of War symposium held in 2017.
  • Foreword
  • The collection of articles in The Enduring Impact of the First World War: A Collection of Perspectives is a rich gathering of insights reflecting on a pivotal year in world history a century later and were all drawn from The Myriad Faces of War symposium held in 2017.
  • Last updated on: 21 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.8 MB
  • The narrative of 1917 and its legacy is characterised by a multitude of perspectives, practices, cultures, histories, locations, and expressions. It is the richness and diversity associated with this year that inspired a significant international symposium in 2017 during the centenary of the First World War, The Myriad Faces of War: 1917 and its Legacy.
  • Introduction
  • The narrative of 1917 and its legacy is characterised by a multitude of perspectives, practices, cultures, histories, locations, and expressions. It is the richness and diversity associated with this year that inspired a significant international symposium in 2017 during the centenary of the First World War, The Myriad Faces of War: 1917 and its Legacy.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.5 MB
  • In 1917 the British government took the unprecedented decision to ban the depiction of the corpses of British and Allied troops in officially sponsored war art. A decade later, in 1927, Australian painter Will Longstaff exhibited Menin Gate at Midnight which shows a host of phantom soldiers emerging from the soil of the Flanders battlegrounds and marching towards Herbert Baker’s immense memorial arch. Longstaff could have seen the work of British artist and war veteran Stanley Spencer. His vast panorama of post-battle exhumation, The Resurrection of the Soldiers, begun also in 1927, was painted as vast tracts of despoiled land in France and Belgium were being recovered, repaired, and planted with thousands of gravestones and military cemeteries. As salvage parties recovered thousands of corpses, concentrating them into designated burial places, Spencer painted his powerful image of recovery and reconciliation. This article will locate this period of ‘re-membering’ in the context of such artists as Will Dyson, Otto Dix, French film-maker Abel Gance, and more recent depictions of conflict by the photographer Jeff Wall. However, unlike the ghastly ‘undead’ depicted in Gance’s 1919 film or Wall’s ambushed platoon in Afghanistan, Spencer’s resurrected boys are pure, whole, and apparently unsullied by warfare.
  • ‘That Huge, Haunted Solitude’: 1917–1927 A Spectral Decade
  • In 1917 the British government took the unprecedented decision to ban the depiction of the corpses of British and Allied troops in officially sponsored war art. A decade later, in 1927, Australian painter Will Longstaff exhibited Menin Gate at Midnight which shows a host of phantom soldiers emerging from the soil of the Flanders battlegrounds and marching towards Herbert Baker’s immense memorial arch. Longstaff could have seen the work of British artist and war veteran Stanley Spencer. His vast panorama of post-battle exhumation, The Resurrection of the Soldiers, begun also in 1927, was painted as vast tracts of despoiled land in France and Belgium were being recovered, repaired, and planted with thousands of gravestones and military cemeteries. As salvage parties recovered thousands of corpses, concentrating them into designated burial places, Spencer painted his powerful image of recovery and reconciliation. This article will locate this period of ‘re-membering’ in the context of such artists as Will Dyson, Otto Dix, French film-maker Abel Gance, and more recent depictions of conflict by the photographer Jeff Wall. However, unlike the ghastly ‘undead’ depicted in Gance’s 1919 film or Wall’s ambushed platoon in Afghanistan, Spencer’s resurrected boys are pure, whole, and apparently unsullied by warfare.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • In April 1917, a porcelain urinal titled Fountain was submitted by Marcel Duchamp (or by his female friend, Louise Norton) under the pseudonym ‘R. MUTT’, to the Society of Independent Artists in New York. The Society’s committee refused to show it in their annual exhibition of some 2,125 works held at the Grand Central Palace. Eighty-seven years later, in 2004, Fountain was voted the most influential work of art in the 20th century by a panel of world experts. We inherit the 1917 work not because the original object survived—it was thrown out into the rubbish—but through a photographic image that Alfred Steiglitz was commissioned to take. In this photo, Marsden Hartley’s The Warriors, painted in 1913 in Berlin, also appears, enlisted as the backdrop for the piece of American hardware Duchamp selected from a plumbing showroom. To highlight the era of the Great War and its effects of displacement on individuals, this article considers each subject in turn: Marcel Duchamp’s departure from Paris and arrival in New York in 1915, and Marsden Hartley’s return to New York in 1915 after two years immersing himself in the gay subculture in pre-war Berlin. As much as describe the artists’ experiences of wartime, explain the origin of the readymade and reconstruct the events of the notorious example, Fountain, the aim of this article is to additionally bring to the fore the alterity of the other item imported ready-made in the photographic construction—the painting The Warriors. In the context of early 20th century modernity, I seek to demonstrate how Duchamp and Hartley became, in different ways, displaced subjects during the Great War and how Stieglitz’s photograph ends up being one record of this fate.
  • The Alterity of the Readymade: Fountain and Displaced Artists in Wartime
  • In April 1917, a porcelain urinal titled Fountain was submitted by Marcel Duchamp (or by his female friend, Louise Norton) under the pseudonym ‘R. MUTT’, to the Society of Independent Artists in New York. The Society’s committee refused to show it in their annual exhibition of some 2,125 works held at the Grand Central Palace. Eighty-seven years later, in 2004, Fountain was voted the most influential work of art in the 20th century by a panel of world experts. We inherit the 1917 work not because the original object survived—it was thrown out into the rubbish—but through a photographic image that Alfred Steiglitz was commissioned to take. In this photo, Marsden Hartley’s The Warriors, painted in 1913 in Berlin, also appears, enlisted as the backdrop for the piece of American hardware Duchamp selected from a plumbing showroom. To highlight the era of the Great War and its effects of displacement on individuals, this article considers each subject in turn: Marcel Duchamp’s departure from Paris and arrival in New York in 1915, and Marsden Hartley’s return to New York in 1915 after two years immersing himself in the gay subculture in pre-war Berlin. As much as describe the artists’ experiences of wartime, explain the origin of the readymade and reconstruct the events of the notorious example, Fountain, the aim of this article is to additionally bring to the fore the alterity of the other item imported ready-made in the photographic construction—the painting The Warriors. In the context of early 20th century modernity, I seek to demonstrate how Duchamp and Hartley became, in different ways, displaced subjects during the Great War and how Stieglitz’s photograph ends up being one record of this fate.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2.1 MB
  • Abstract In 2004 the remains of a First World War soldier were disinterred from the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery in France and returned to New Zealand to be reburied in the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial in Wellington. The warrior’s original resting place in the Somme was in a Commonwealth (formerly Imperial) War Graves Commission cemetery. The commission was established in 1917 to care for the graves of the empire’s Great War dead. Prior to the new tomb in Wellington, the warrior buried in Westminster Abbey in London since 1920 had served as New Zealand’s unknown. In the 1960s, with the development of a ‘new nationalism’ in New Zealand, came the emergence of new emblems of nationhood. By the time of the fifth Labour government (1999– 2008) led by Prime Minister Helen Clark, an agenda to shape New Zealand’s national identity— including the promotion of military heritage—was well-established. At the Unknown Warrior’s funeral and interment ceremony in Wellington on 11 November 2004, both Clark and Governor- General Dame Sylvia Cartwright proposed the warrior’s return represented a coming of age for New Zealand and a shared identity for its citizens. Against the backdrop of the Imperial War Graves Commission’s founding principles, this article explores the rhetoric of the official public ceremonies on the occasion of the Unknown Warrior’s return, and his apparent mobilisation and co-option in the construction of New Zealand’s distinctive, contemporary national identity.
  • ‘The Past We Harvest That Was Yours’: The Rhetoric of National Identity and the Legacy of the Unknown Warrior in New Zealand Memory
  • Abstract In 2004 the remains of a First World War soldier were disinterred from the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery in France and returned to New Zealand to be reburied in the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial in Wellington. The warrior’s original resting place in the Somme was in a Commonwealth (formerly Imperial) War Graves Commission cemetery. The commission was established in 1917 to care for the graves of the empire’s Great War dead. Prior to the new tomb in Wellington, the warrior buried in Westminster Abbey in London since 1920 had served as New Zealand’s unknown. In the 1960s, with the development of a ‘new nationalism’ in New Zealand, came the emergence of new emblems of nationhood. By the time of the fifth Labour government (1999– 2008) led by Prime Minister Helen Clark, an agenda to shape New Zealand’s national identity— including the promotion of military heritage—was well-established. At the Unknown Warrior’s funeral and interment ceremony in Wellington on 11 November 2004, both Clark and Governor- General Dame Sylvia Cartwright proposed the warrior’s return represented a coming of age for New Zealand and a shared identity for its citizens. Against the backdrop of the Imperial War Graves Commission’s founding principles, this article explores the rhetoric of the official public ceremonies on the occasion of the Unknown Warrior’s return, and his apparent mobilisation and co-option in the construction of New Zealand’s distinctive, contemporary national identity.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2 MB
  • This article reviews how singing came to be used as part of the school experience in 1917 to foster a sense of patriotism, and to support New Zealand’s commitment to the First World War. To start, key curriculum initiatives that embedded singing in schools as part of the compulsory curriculum prior to the First World War are outlined. The main barrier to effective singing in schools was always the level of competence that teachers had in facilitating this activity. As the First World War progressed patriotic songs were made available for school use. Examples of this repertoire illustrate how the songs became more sophisticated and overtly patriotic. Political forces shaping the school experience such as the influence of the National Efficiency Board in encouraging displays of patriotism, particularly flag saluting ceremonies, are also highlighted. As part of the increasing custom of patriotic displays, singing became an integral element, particularly the two national anthems of New Zealand: ‘God Save the King’; and ‘God Defend New Zealand’. The First World War provoked a wave of new compositions, both songs and instrumental works. There was a well-organised Society for the Encouragement of New Zealand Music and one of the aims of this organisation was to support the official introduction into public schools of songs composed by New Zealanders. There was increased patriotic zeal following the end of the First World War, but the incorporation of songs inspired by the war no longer had the same currency and they began to fall away from the repertoire.
  • Singing From the Same Song Sheet: Patriotism in the 1917 Classroom
  • This article reviews how singing came to be used as part of the school experience in 1917 to foster a sense of patriotism, and to support New Zealand’s commitment to the First World War. To start, key curriculum initiatives that embedded singing in schools as part of the compulsory curriculum prior to the First World War are outlined. The main barrier to effective singing in schools was always the level of competence that teachers had in facilitating this activity. As the First World War progressed patriotic songs were made available for school use. Examples of this repertoire illustrate how the songs became more sophisticated and overtly patriotic. Political forces shaping the school experience such as the influence of the National Efficiency Board in encouraging displays of patriotism, particularly flag saluting ceremonies, are also highlighted. As part of the increasing custom of patriotic displays, singing became an integral element, particularly the two national anthems of New Zealand: ‘God Save the King’; and ‘God Defend New Zealand’. The First World War provoked a wave of new compositions, both songs and instrumental works. There was a well-organised Society for the Encouragement of New Zealand Music and one of the aims of this organisation was to support the official introduction into public schools of songs composed by New Zealanders. There was increased patriotic zeal following the end of the First World War, but the incorporation of songs inspired by the war no longer had the same currency and they began to fall away from the repertoire.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • On Anzac Day 2015, the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington officially opened to the public. With the National War Memorial, dedicated in 1932, at its heart, the development of the park was the government’s key project to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War. The park shared its opening with another First World War commemorative initiative, The Great War Exhibition at the nearby former National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum building. In my role as Senior Historian–Educator I sought to establish an education programme at Pukeahu that would use an inquiry-based approach to encourage students to think critically about the National War Memorial and the wider themes of commemoration and remembrance. Students as young as eight years old would gather round the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and when asked ‘who is buried inside?’ would reply that the soldier interred within was someone who had ‘died for us’, ‘a hero’. These answers highlighted the need for our teaching to strike a balance that allowed space for empathy and emotion—valid responses in the context of a war memorial—while encouraging a more critical acknowledgement as to why the tomb exists in the first place (see Baird, this volume). Remembering ‘the fallen’ is steeped in traditions that can be difficult to challenge or question. They reflect practices in which those participating have rarely had a say in creating yet are required to dutifully observe. Young New Zealanders visiting Pukeahu need to be supported in thinking critically about such practices to enable informed reflection. This is an autoethnographic article in which I share my observations of teaching at Pukeahu between its opening in April 2015 and the Passchendaele centenary in October 2017. It examines the impact of the wider First World War centenary commemorations on the education programme and the pedagogy adopted to help students gain a deeper understanding of the impact of war on the nation.
  • ‘He died for us’: The Challenge of Applying Critical Thinking at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, 2015–17
  • On Anzac Day 2015, the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington officially opened to the public. With the National War Memorial, dedicated in 1932, at its heart, the development of the park was the government’s key project to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War. The park shared its opening with another First World War commemorative initiative, The Great War Exhibition at the nearby former National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum building. In my role as Senior Historian–Educator I sought to establish an education programme at Pukeahu that would use an inquiry-based approach to encourage students to think critically about the National War Memorial and the wider themes of commemoration and remembrance. Students as young as eight years old would gather round the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and when asked ‘who is buried inside?’ would reply that the soldier interred within was someone who had ‘died for us’, ‘a hero’. These answers highlighted the need for our teaching to strike a balance that allowed space for empathy and emotion—valid responses in the context of a war memorial—while encouraging a more critical acknowledgement as to why the tomb exists in the first place (see Baird, this volume). Remembering ‘the fallen’ is steeped in traditions that can be difficult to challenge or question. They reflect practices in which those participating have rarely had a say in creating yet are required to dutifully observe. Young New Zealanders visiting Pukeahu need to be supported in thinking critically about such practices to enable informed reflection. This is an autoethnographic article in which I share my observations of teaching at Pukeahu between its opening in April 2015 and the Passchendaele centenary in October 2017. It examines the impact of the wider First World War centenary commemorations on the education programme and the pedagogy adopted to help students gain a deeper understanding of the impact of war on the nation.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • This article explores the origins of the ‘myths’ that have come to dominate popular memory of the First World War in Britain. Perceptions of the conflict as a bloody exercise in futility, orchestrated by inept generals, and fought in fields of mud are undoubtedly unrepresentative. Yet, far from pure fiction, such impressions can be historicised. Drawing on wider research into soldiers’ perception of crisis during 1914–1918, this piece argues that the kernel of many of these ‘myths’ can be found in the lived experience of the western front in 1917.
  • Mud, Blood and Not So Much Poppycock: ‘Myth’ Formation and the British Army in Late 1917
  • This article explores the origins of the ‘myths’ that have come to dominate popular memory of the First World War in Britain. Perceptions of the conflict as a bloody exercise in futility, orchestrated by inept generals, and fought in fields of mud are undoubtedly unrepresentative. Yet, far from pure fiction, such impressions can be historicised. Drawing on wider research into soldiers’ perception of crisis during 1914–1918, this piece argues that the kernel of many of these ‘myths’ can be found in the lived experience of the western front in 1917.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.7 MB
  • Battles, by their very nature, are fixed in time and space. Paradoxically (as several historians have observed) they defy the constraints of linear time and their effects can be felt well into the future. This article explores the way the third battle of Ypres changed the lives of three men caught up in the carnage. It charts the way their stories have changed over time and considers the fraught politics of remembrance. All three stories are part of the 100 Stories project, a counter narrative that challenged the dominant mode of commemoration in Australia throughout the centenary of the war. Its aim was to broaden the ambit of remembrance, emphasise the human cost of conflict and examine the way war reaches into and damages the social fabric. Thus far, the 100 Stories have produced a book, inspired musical compositions and performance, formed the basis of several public exhibitions, and led to a host of public and academic presentations in Australia and overseas. They were the centrepiece of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) fielded by Future Learn and provide the framework of a new website hosted by the Australian National University, https://onehundredstories.anu.edu.au. The stories in this article suggest the scope of the 100 Stories project, spanning the lives of an Indigenous soldier as well as those of British descent. Two of the men examined here were killed in the precinct of Glencorse Wood on the Ypres salient. The third took his own life well after the fighting had ended.
  • 1917 and the Long Reach of War: Three Stories from the Salient
  • Battles, by their very nature, are fixed in time and space. Paradoxically (as several historians have observed) they defy the constraints of linear time and their effects can be felt well into the future. This article explores the way the third battle of Ypres changed the lives of three men caught up in the carnage. It charts the way their stories have changed over time and considers the fraught politics of remembrance. All three stories are part of the 100 Stories project, a counter narrative that challenged the dominant mode of commemoration in Australia throughout the centenary of the war. Its aim was to broaden the ambit of remembrance, emphasise the human cost of conflict and examine the way war reaches into and damages the social fabric. Thus far, the 100 Stories have produced a book, inspired musical compositions and performance, formed the basis of several public exhibitions, and led to a host of public and academic presentations in Australia and overseas. They were the centrepiece of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) fielded by Future Learn and provide the framework of a new website hosted by the Australian National University, https://onehundredstories.anu.edu.au. The stories in this article suggest the scope of the 100 Stories project, spanning the lives of an Indigenous soldier as well as those of British descent. Two of the men examined here were killed in the precinct of Glencorse Wood on the Ypres salient. The third took his own life well after the fighting had ended.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2.5 MB
  • Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith is one of the most well-known faces of modern conflict in Australia. The decorated special forces soldier is frequently at the forefront of commemorative initiatives, has become a spokesman for health and sport, and is popularly portrayed as the embodiment of the modern ‘Anzac’. But Roberts-Smith’s social currency as a hero is not a recent phenomenon. It has its origins in 1917, when decorated soldiers were first used to advertise the war effort. This was a tumultuous year for Australians deeply embroiled in the First World War. A failed conscription plebiscite—and another looming—and increasing devastation on the battlefield had led to a growing sense of war weariness. Amidst this discontent, the State Parliamentary Recruiting Committee of Victoria launched the Sportsmen’s Thousand, an army recruitment initiative designed to encourage the enlistment of athletic men. The posters released for the campaign featured a portrait of a fit, young uniformed man—Lieutenant Albert Jacka, an accomplished sportsman and decorated ‘war hero’. The Sportsmen’s Thousand used Jacka to invoke the connection between masculinity and heroism by suggesting that talent on the sports field would translate to prowess on the field of battle, just as it had for Jacka. This article explores how ‘heroes’ like Jacka were increasingly used in Australian war propaganda and recruitment initiatives from 1917 to inspire enlistment and promote a sense of loyalty to the war effort. I argue that the success of these propaganda initiatives set the scene for the similar use of ‘heroic’ men throughout later conflicts, creating a legacy of the promotion of martial heroism and military celebrity that is reflected in Roberts-Smith’s status today.
  • The Politics of Heroism: Propaganda and Military Celebrity in First World War Australia
  • Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith is one of the most well-known faces of modern conflict in Australia. The decorated special forces soldier is frequently at the forefront of commemorative initiatives, has become a spokesman for health and sport, and is popularly portrayed as the embodiment of the modern ‘Anzac’. But Roberts-Smith’s social currency as a hero is not a recent phenomenon. It has its origins in 1917, when decorated soldiers were first used to advertise the war effort. This was a tumultuous year for Australians deeply embroiled in the First World War. A failed conscription plebiscite—and another looming—and increasing devastation on the battlefield had led to a growing sense of war weariness. Amidst this discontent, the State Parliamentary Recruiting Committee of Victoria launched the Sportsmen’s Thousand, an army recruitment initiative designed to encourage the enlistment of athletic men. The posters released for the campaign featured a portrait of a fit, young uniformed man—Lieutenant Albert Jacka, an accomplished sportsman and decorated ‘war hero’. The Sportsmen’s Thousand used Jacka to invoke the connection between masculinity and heroism by suggesting that talent on the sports field would translate to prowess on the field of battle, just as it had for Jacka. This article explores how ‘heroes’ like Jacka were increasingly used in Australian war propaganda and recruitment initiatives from 1917 to inspire enlistment and promote a sense of loyalty to the war effort. I argue that the success of these propaganda initiatives set the scene for the similar use of ‘heroic’ men throughout later conflicts, creating a legacy of the promotion of martial heroism and military celebrity that is reflected in Roberts-Smith’s status today.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2 MB
  • To have ‘a good war’ may be defined as ‘making the most of the opportunities presented to one during wartime’. This article focuses on one man who had a good war between 1914 and 1918; with a particular focus on 1917. In 1914 Herbert Hart was a small-town solicitor and officer in the part-time Territorial Force. By the end of the First World War he was a much decorated and highly regarded brigadier general. The factors that led to Hart having a good war and how they can be seen at work during his career in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force are assessed in this article. How having a good war and becoming a senior officer changed Hart’s experience of war on the western front and the trajectory of his life are also examined.
  • Having a Good War During a Bad Year: Herbert Hart in 1917
  • To have ‘a good war’ may be defined as ‘making the most of the opportunities presented to one during wartime’. This article focuses on one man who had a good war between 1914 and 1918; with a particular focus on 1917. In 1914 Herbert Hart was a small-town solicitor and officer in the part-time Territorial Force. By the end of the First World War he was a much decorated and highly regarded brigadier general. The factors that led to Hart having a good war and how they can be seen at work during his career in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force are assessed in this article. How having a good war and becoming a senior officer changed Hart’s experience of war on the western front and the trajectory of his life are also examined.
  • Last updated on: 19 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2.7 MB
  • In 1917, the director of the Dominion Museum in Wellington, New Zealand sent his first form letter to the next-of-kin of New Zealanders awarded medals during the Great War. The director wrote to families, asking them for photographs of their decorated kin, and any other artefacts, ‘in readiness for the time when they can be fittingly displayed’. The outcome of this effort was 71 photographic display boards, now held at Archives New Zealand along with the correspondence associated with the acquisition, reproduction, and display of the photographs. The heroic, commemorative narrative represented by the images featured on these boards was just one of many ways in which photographic technology operated during and immediately after the war. However, as Sandy Callister notes in her 2008 book, The Face of War: New Zealand’s Great War Photography: ‘…[t]oo often, the multiplicity of ways in which New Zealanders produced and consumed photographs during the war years is overlooked’. With this in mind, the article considers the nature of war photography, museums, and public remembrance, through the close examination of the correspondence related to the Great War medal recipients’ photographic display boards. By doing so, the article amplifies the work of Callister, in addition to Tanja Luckins and Anne-Marie Condé’s research, which has examined the motivations behind the donation and sale of Great War soldiers’ diaries and letters to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and Mitchell Library in Sydney. As this case study demonstrates, we see that photographic prints, because of their capacity to be copied, existed simultaneously both in private and in public, and conveyed different but also overlapping meanings in each of these two spheres.
  • ‘Fittingly Displayed’: The Acquisition and the Exhibition of Photographs of New Zealand’s Great War Medal Recipients at the Dominion Museum
  • In 1917, the director of the Dominion Museum in Wellington, New Zealand sent his first form letter to the next-of-kin of New Zealanders awarded medals during the Great War. The director wrote to families, asking them for photographs of their decorated kin, and any other artefacts, ‘in readiness for the time when they can be fittingly displayed’. The outcome of this effort was 71 photographic display boards, now held at Archives New Zealand along with the correspondence associated with the acquisition, reproduction, and display of the photographs. The heroic, commemorative narrative represented by the images featured on these boards was just one of many ways in which photographic technology operated during and immediately after the war. However, as Sandy Callister notes in her 2008 book, The Face of War: New Zealand’s Great War Photography: ‘…[t]oo often, the multiplicity of ways in which New Zealanders produced and consumed photographs during the war years is overlooked’. With this in mind, the article considers the nature of war photography, museums, and public remembrance, through the close examination of the correspondence related to the Great War medal recipients’ photographic display boards. By doing so, the article amplifies the work of Callister, in addition to Tanja Luckins and Anne-Marie Condé’s research, which has examined the motivations behind the donation and sale of Great War soldiers’ diaries and letters to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and Mitchell Library in Sydney. As this case study demonstrates, we see that photographic prints, because of their capacity to be copied, existed simultaneously both in private and in public, and conveyed different but also overlapping meanings in each of these two spheres.
  • Last updated on: 20 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2.2 MB
  • In 1917, English artist and actor Ernest Thesiger wrote to the Ministry of Pensions with what must have seemed a somewhat eccentric proposal that they establish an embroidery workshop to provide training and employment for disabled combatants returning from the war. Thesiger suggested the men could initially ‘copy and mend old needlework’ but eventually they should make and sell their own designs. The London War Pensions Committee quickly rejected Thesiger’s proposal, a decision which he maintained reflected prevailing ideas that embroidery was too ‘effeminate [an] occupation for ex-soldiers’. However, Thesiger’s proposed workshop soon did become operative, under the auspices of a charity, as the Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry. Within a decade it had become one of the most celebrated and successful luxury textile workshops in Britain making a central contribution to the renaissance of embroidery during the first half of the twentieth century. In 1927, almost a decade after Thesiger’s initial proposal to the Ministry of Pensions, an exhibition showcasing the work of the Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry was held in the London home of a prominent politician, industrialist, art collector and founder of the Imperial War Museum, Sir Alfred Mond. At this exhibition, Queen Mary was presented with a gift made by a man ‘who had lost both legs’ in combat, ‘an exquisite little casket in black and gold Spanish work on a white silk background inspired by the embroideries brought to England by Queen Catherine of Aragon’. In 1946 Queen Mary presented this casket to the people of New Zealand. This article offers an interrogation of this unique object (now in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) as a means to uncover how modern ideas about masculinity, disability, and craft were transformed by the First World War.
  • The Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry Casket in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • In 1917, English artist and actor Ernest Thesiger wrote to the Ministry of Pensions with what must have seemed a somewhat eccentric proposal that they establish an embroidery workshop to provide training and employment for disabled combatants returning from the war. Thesiger suggested the men could initially ‘copy and mend old needlework’ but eventually they should make and sell their own designs. The London War Pensions Committee quickly rejected Thesiger’s proposal, a decision which he maintained reflected prevailing ideas that embroidery was too ‘effeminate [an] occupation for ex-soldiers’. However, Thesiger’s proposed workshop soon did become operative, under the auspices of a charity, as the Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry. Within a decade it had become one of the most celebrated and successful luxury textile workshops in Britain making a central contribution to the renaissance of embroidery during the first half of the twentieth century. In 1927, almost a decade after Thesiger’s initial proposal to the Ministry of Pensions, an exhibition showcasing the work of the Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry was held in the London home of a prominent politician, industrialist, art collector and founder of the Imperial War Museum, Sir Alfred Mond. At this exhibition, Queen Mary was presented with a gift made by a man ‘who had lost both legs’ in combat, ‘an exquisite little casket in black and gold Spanish work on a white silk background inspired by the embroideries brought to England by Queen Catherine of Aragon’. In 1946 Queen Mary presented this casket to the people of New Zealand. This article offers an interrogation of this unique object (now in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) as a means to uncover how modern ideas about masculinity, disability, and craft were transformed by the First World War.
  • Last updated on: 20 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2.2 MB
  • Throughout the First World War, neutrals and belligerents publicly defined what they believed their nation’s role in the conflict to be and what they hoped the post-war world would look like. The public discussion in the United States about the structure of post-war international relations drew on a discourse about the nation’s role in world affairs that the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 had significantly shaped. The conferences dealt with a range of issues, such as disarmament, the laws of war, and the development of international organisations, and provided the opportunity for these ideas to be debated in a more public manner than ever before. It is clear from American newspaper coverage during the First World War that The Hague continued to be seen by some as the best way to achieve peaceful relations. However, it is also clear that from early 1917, people in the United States were coming to view Wilson as the likely architect of any post-war international organisations. Wilson did not suggest, as others did, that The Hague should be used as the foundation for such an organisation, nor did he advocate the creation of an international court; instead, he argued for something separate, something new. 1917, therefore, marks and important transition whereby ideas of world organisation in the United States came to be dominated by a vision different from The Hague.
  • Competing Visions of World Order: Woodrow Wilson and The Hague in 1917
  • Throughout the First World War, neutrals and belligerents publicly defined what they believed their nation’s role in the conflict to be and what they hoped the post-war world would look like. The public discussion in the United States about the structure of post-war international relations drew on a discourse about the nation’s role in world affairs that the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 had significantly shaped. The conferences dealt with a range of issues, such as disarmament, the laws of war, and the development of international organisations, and provided the opportunity for these ideas to be debated in a more public manner than ever before. It is clear from American newspaper coverage during the First World War that The Hague continued to be seen by some as the best way to achieve peaceful relations. However, it is also clear that from early 1917, people in the United States were coming to view Wilson as the likely architect of any post-war international organisations. Wilson did not suggest, as others did, that The Hague should be used as the foundation for such an organisation, nor did he advocate the creation of an international court; instead, he argued for something separate, something new. 1917, therefore, marks and important transition whereby ideas of world organisation in the United States came to be dominated by a vision different from The Hague.
  • Last updated on: 20 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • 1917 was a decisive year in the diverse theatres of the First World War, contributing to the globalisation of the conflict. In Latin America, the entry of the United States into the conflict was the most significant event, which triggered essential developments in the diplomatic, economic, political, and cultural fields. The United States displayed an active campaign to align the countries of the subcontinent behind its foreign policy, led by the principle of Pan-Americanism. As a result, most Latin American states severed diplomatic relationships with, or declared war against, the German Empire, in the context of heated internal debates. This article aims to analyse the impact of the United States’ entry into the war on the Latin American intellectual field. It will tackle two main reactions unleashed by that event. On the one hand, it led many intellectuals to support the notion of continental unity under American leadership, reinforced later by the so-called ‘Wilsonian moment’. On the other hand, it also gave rise to the rejection of American interference in the subcontinent’s domestic affairs and the revival of anti-imperialism, a vigorous ideological trend that appeared after the Spanish-American War of 1898.
  • 1917 in Latin America: Between Pan-Americanism and Anti-imperialism
  • 1917 was a decisive year in the diverse theatres of the First World War, contributing to the globalisation of the conflict. In Latin America, the entry of the United States into the conflict was the most significant event, which triggered essential developments in the diplomatic, economic, political, and cultural fields. The United States displayed an active campaign to align the countries of the subcontinent behind its foreign policy, led by the principle of Pan-Americanism. As a result, most Latin American states severed diplomatic relationships with, or declared war against, the German Empire, in the context of heated internal debates. This article aims to analyse the impact of the United States’ entry into the war on the Latin American intellectual field. It will tackle two main reactions unleashed by that event. On the one hand, it led many intellectuals to support the notion of continental unity under American leadership, reinforced later by the so-called ‘Wilsonian moment’. On the other hand, it also gave rise to the rejection of American interference in the subcontinent’s domestic affairs and the revival of anti-imperialism, a vigorous ideological trend that appeared after the Spanish-American War of 1898.
  • Last updated on: 20 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • In the Great War, wool was as essential to success as steel and gunpowder. All combatant nations tried to ensure continuing supplies of this vital resource, but none so successfully as Britain, whose Australian and New Zealand dominions were key sources of the apparel wools sought after for military uniforms and blankets. Wool was a lynchpin in Allied planning in 1917 and the subject of negotiation, intrigue, and anxiety: how could the United States possibly send its troops—suitably attired for Europe’s trenches—as soon as they were needed, in the face of raw materials shortages, including wool? This article first addresses the complexities of British control of the Australasian wool clip during the First World War. It then looks at how this led the American and German textile industries to seek substitutes—shoddy (recycled wool), Peruvian cotton, paper yarns, regenerated cellulose, silk, and jute—and eventually, synthesised fibres. Next examined is why and how research and development in fibre technology was rooted in the field of dye chemistry, then largely controlled by Germany. Deprived of German dyes for a wide range of products, United States’ companies, notably the DuPont Corporation, entered the field in 1917, setting the stage for later breakthroughs in synthetic fibre technology. It took several decades for wool to lose its primacy in war and peace, but the First World War hastened that end. 1917 was a pivotal year: its challenges, opportunities, and actions affected global textiles in ways that still resonate today.
  • Wool, Paper, Dye: 1917 and the Roots of the Synthetic Fibre Revolution
  • In the Great War, wool was as essential to success as steel and gunpowder. All combatant nations tried to ensure continuing supplies of this vital resource, but none so successfully as Britain, whose Australian and New Zealand dominions were key sources of the apparel wools sought after for military uniforms and blankets. Wool was a lynchpin in Allied planning in 1917 and the subject of negotiation, intrigue, and anxiety: how could the United States possibly send its troops—suitably attired for Europe’s trenches—as soon as they were needed, in the face of raw materials shortages, including wool? This article first addresses the complexities of British control of the Australasian wool clip during the First World War. It then looks at how this led the American and German textile industries to seek substitutes—shoddy (recycled wool), Peruvian cotton, paper yarns, regenerated cellulose, silk, and jute—and eventually, synthesised fibres. Next examined is why and how research and development in fibre technology was rooted in the field of dye chemistry, then largely controlled by Germany. Deprived of German dyes for a wide range of products, United States’ companies, notably the DuPont Corporation, entered the field in 1917, setting the stage for later breakthroughs in synthetic fibre technology. It took several decades for wool to lose its primacy in war and peace, but the First World War hastened that end. 1917 was a pivotal year: its challenges, opportunities, and actions affected global textiles in ways that still resonate today.
  • Last updated on: 16 Feb 2021 | File Size: 2.4 MB
  • In late 1916 Germany stood at the crossroads. Though it had withstood heavy attacks by the Allies and won an unexpected victory over a new enemy, Romania, it was clear that Germany could not win a war without end. As a result, Germany offered a compromise peace. Whether this offer was genuine is still debated by historians. When the offer was rejected by the Allies, Germany unleashed a campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare, hoping to force Britain upon its knees within six months. Though this hope was not realised, the collapse of the Tsarist empire offered a new opportunity to win the war. However, the Russian Revolution coincided with increasing social and political unrest and demands for peace at home. Though Germany forced the new Bolshevik government to sign a harsh peace treaty in early 1918, it was an open question whether Germany would eventually win the war against the Allies in the West. When the German Spring Offensive, started on 21 March 1918 failed, final defeat was only a matter of time.
  • 1917: Germany at the Crossroads
  • In late 1916 Germany stood at the crossroads. Though it had withstood heavy attacks by the Allies and won an unexpected victory over a new enemy, Romania, it was clear that Germany could not win a war without end. As a result, Germany offered a compromise peace. Whether this offer was genuine is still debated by historians. When the offer was rejected by the Allies, Germany unleashed a campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare, hoping to force Britain upon its knees within six months. Though this hope was not realised, the collapse of the Tsarist empire offered a new opportunity to win the war. However, the Russian Revolution coincided with increasing social and political unrest and demands for peace at home. Though Germany forced the new Bolshevik government to sign a harsh peace treaty in early 1918, it was an open question whether Germany would eventually win the war against the Allies in the West. When the German Spring Offensive, started on 21 March 1918 failed, final defeat was only a matter of time.
  • Last updated on: 20 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • In the summer of 1917 Americans began preparing to enter the European War. Cantonments and camps sprang up around the country, making doughboys out of farmhands, clerks, factory workers—and college students. New Haven, Connecticut was one such place: the site of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, makers of the Enfield and BAR rifles, home to Yale University and campsite of the 102nd Regiment of the Yankee Division. New Haven has had a sometimes productive, sometimes difficult relationship with the Ivy League school over the course of 300 years. The First World War helped to break down social and political barriers that had developed during the 19th century, when the city was becoming ever more ethnic, and the university was becoming ever more elitist. In 1917, soldiers made their first camp on the grounds of the Yale Bowl, Yale students and professors enlisted in the Yankee Division along with New Haveners and New Englanders, and Yale’s great dining hall became the workroom of the New Haven chapter of the American Red Cross. Together, the New Haven Green and the Yale Campus became the centre for overt wartime preparations and both town and gown called upon the figure of Nathan Hale – America’s first ‘spy’ – to instil a local and national sense of identity dating back to the American Revolution in 1776. The bronze Nathan Hale monument had been installed only four years earlier on Yale’s Old Campus, but the figure of a Connecticut farm boy/university student/ soldier-spy remains a focal point of university life even today, although few remember the ways in which the ‘Spirit of 1776’ was revived during the First World War. This article examines the relationship between town and gown in 1917, as both prepared to enter wartime Europe.
  • The Spirit of 1776/1917: Town and Gown Go to War
  • In the summer of 1917 Americans began preparing to enter the European War. Cantonments and camps sprang up around the country, making doughboys out of farmhands, clerks, factory workers—and college students. New Haven, Connecticut was one such place: the site of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, makers of the Enfield and BAR rifles, home to Yale University and campsite of the 102nd Regiment of the Yankee Division. New Haven has had a sometimes productive, sometimes difficult relationship with the Ivy League school over the course of 300 years. The First World War helped to break down social and political barriers that had developed during the 19th century, when the city was becoming ever more ethnic, and the university was becoming ever more elitist. In 1917, soldiers made their first camp on the grounds of the Yale Bowl, Yale students and professors enlisted in the Yankee Division along with New Haveners and New Englanders, and Yale’s great dining hall became the workroom of the New Haven chapter of the American Red Cross. Together, the New Haven Green and the Yale Campus became the centre for overt wartime preparations and both town and gown called upon the figure of Nathan Hale – America’s first ‘spy’ – to instil a local and national sense of identity dating back to the American Revolution in 1776. The bronze Nathan Hale monument had been installed only four years earlier on Yale’s Old Campus, but the figure of a Connecticut farm boy/university student/ soldier-spy remains a focal point of university life even today, although few remember the ways in which the ‘Spirit of 1776’ was revived during the First World War. This article examines the relationship between town and gown in 1917, as both prepared to enter wartime Europe.
  • Last updated on: 21 Jan 2021 | File Size: 2.5 MB
  • The treatment of conscientious objectors is one of the biggest blots on New Zealand’s First World War record. Many of these individuals were imprisoned and deprived of their civil rights, some were brutalised while confined in domestic army camps, and a few were even forcibly transported to the western front. Historians have identified the nine military service boards, established to determine appeals for exemption from conscription, as playing a significant enabling role in this persecution. Labelled as over-zealous and ignorant jingoists, the boards’ members are said to have been far more concerned with ridiculing conscientious objectors’ beliefs than with properly assessing their claims. This article evaluates such assertions by reference to the exemption hearings that took place during 1917. Although conscription was first implemented in November 1916 and continued until the Armistice, 1917 was the year in which government policies towards conscientious objectors came to be defined, and in which the boards formulated the approach that would guide them throughout their operations. While not denying the boards’ questioning of objectors could be provocative and unsavoury, this article suggests that matters were more nuanced than the historiography indicates. Despite the tightly worded provisions of the Military Service Act, the appeal bodies did at least try to keep many objectors out of prison by offering to recommend them for non-combatant service in the Medical Corps. Moreover, the boards focused the majority of their questioning not on delivering indignant tirades, but on implementing a measured approach that corresponded with their wider efforts to achieve an equality of sacrifice.
  • ‘Won’t You Meet Us Half-Way?’: The New Zealand Military Service Boards and Conscientious Objectors
  • The treatment of conscientious objectors is one of the biggest blots on New Zealand’s First World War record. Many of these individuals were imprisoned and deprived of their civil rights, some were brutalised while confined in domestic army camps, and a few were even forcibly transported to the western front. Historians have identified the nine military service boards, established to determine appeals for exemption from conscription, as playing a significant enabling role in this persecution. Labelled as over-zealous and ignorant jingoists, the boards’ members are said to have been far more concerned with ridiculing conscientious objectors’ beliefs than with properly assessing their claims. This article evaluates such assertions by reference to the exemption hearings that took place during 1917. Although conscription was first implemented in November 1916 and continued until the Armistice, 1917 was the year in which government policies towards conscientious objectors came to be defined, and in which the boards formulated the approach that would guide them throughout their operations. While not denying the boards’ questioning of objectors could be provocative and unsavoury, this article suggests that matters were more nuanced than the historiography indicates. Despite the tightly worded provisions of the Military Service Act, the appeal bodies did at least try to keep many objectors out of prison by offering to recommend them for non-combatant service in the Medical Corps. Moreover, the boards focused the majority of their questioning not on delivering indignant tirades, but on implementing a measured approach that corresponded with their wider efforts to achieve an equality of sacrifice.
  • Last updated on: 21 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.6 MB
  • This article will examine New Zealand laws that were introduced during the First World War, and which evolved out of a need to bring order to society at a time of world-wide chaos. It will consider the introduction of laws that dealt with sedition and ‘intoxicating liquor’, issues that challenged the government’s ability to maintain law and order, and the leading legal cases of 1917 arising out of those new laws. These cases helped determine the legality of New Zealand’s role in the Great War, and the extent of the Government’s right to make laws committing New Zealand to conflicts outside its three-mile limits. Also considered will be the ongoing legacies of those laws, how long they continued to be used as a means to control society after the First World War had ended, and whether there are aspects of those laws that have continued to have effect in law and on society up to the present day.
  • The ‘Rules of Engagement’: The Great War’s Legacy on Law and Order
  • This article will examine New Zealand laws that were introduced during the First World War, and which evolved out of a need to bring order to society at a time of world-wide chaos. It will consider the introduction of laws that dealt with sedition and ‘intoxicating liquor’, issues that challenged the government’s ability to maintain law and order, and the leading legal cases of 1917 arising out of those new laws. These cases helped determine the legality of New Zealand’s role in the Great War, and the extent of the Government’s right to make laws committing New Zealand to conflicts outside its three-mile limits. Also considered will be the ongoing legacies of those laws, how long they continued to be used as a means to control society after the First World War had ended, and whether there are aspects of those laws that have continued to have effect in law and on society up to the present day.
  • Last updated on: 21 Jan 2021 | File Size: 1.7 MB