War and Conflict

Another Christmas in the Trenches
07 December 2018

For some, the festive season is marked by traditional fare – carol singing, sleigh rides, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. For others, however, nothing heralds the arrival of Christmas like Hans Gruber prowling about Nakatomi Plaza or Elton John hawking pianos for an ad-obsessed department store. Inevitably, watching the crooner transported through Christmases past, my thoughts turned to famous festive stories throughout time; Washington and his troops fording the Delaware, Cromwell – that classic panto villain – cancelling Christmas, and, of course, the famed football match of 1914. 

Dogs of War
30 November 2018

This year marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, and stories of bravery proliferated in our media, reminding us of the enormity of the war’s impact. Looking at the First World War Portal, I quickly found several of these accounts, making it nearly impossible to choose just one to write about.

Inspired by my faithful companion, and not knowing where else to begin, I did a quick search for the word “dog”.

The Armistice: A Global Experience 100 Years On
06 November 2018

This Sunday will mark 100 years since the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War, and acts of remembrance are planned across the world for communities to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who came before.

Documents in our forthcoming resource, The First World War: A Global Conflict, offer some real gems for those interested in how the Armistice was experienced globally in 1918. Here I have selected three items, created by people based in Japan, France and Constantinople.

March on the Pentagon
02 November 2018

In 1967, the sentiment against the Vietnam War had spread nationwide. Many Americans had protested U.S participation and had become involved in a largely nonviolent and diverse war resistance. In October of 1967, at a march in Washington organised by The National Mobilisation Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the anti-war movement entered a new stage – typified by a willingness to engage in direct confrontation with authority. This became known as the March on the Pentagon.

Were Nazi troops headed for my house?
24 August 2018

Here in the office, everyone has their favourite search terms when exploring our new collections. I often search for “Devizes” to see what historic documents I can turn up on my own stomping ground. For a small Wiltshire town, the results so far have been surprisingly varied, with letters written from the house next to my favourite Chinese turning up in Colonial America, travel guides for canal walks in Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture, and tales of war-time community spirit in First World War.

Beer, Football and Public Transport: A GI’s Guide to Great Britain
21 August 2018

In my time as an intern at Adam Matthew Digital, I’ve had the pleasure of stumbling across some fantastic sources. One that stood out to me whilst working on the upcoming World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts project was a booklet produced by the US War and Navy Departments in Washington D.C., titled ‘A Short Guide to Great Britain’.

Football during the Second World War
22 June 2018

The 2018 Football World Cup is in full swing, after kicking off (no pun intended, I promise) with Russia vs. Saudi Arabia. Football has long been accepted as crucial form of recreation and relaxation for the masses, and this is evident in reports on spectator sports during the Second World War, which can be found in Mass Observation Online. During times of crisis, Sport, particularly football in Britain was recognised as a way in which to raise morale.

Shoes burnt off my feet: Anna Airy on painting the ferocious heat of WWI shell furnaces
14 June 2018

A newspaper clipping begins with the following account: ‘A lady engaged in painting, for the Imperial War Museum, in a large munitions factory was watched by two workmen. Said one, “She’s sketchin’ for the papers, ain’t she?” His mate, better informed, replied, “Naow, she’s from the Ministry, she is” and added as an afterthought, “but she seems to know ‘er job"'. The workmen were discussing Anna Airy who, whilst considered one of the leading British women artists of her generation, was also one of the first women to be officially commissioned as a war artist, one hundred years ago.

The Time for Propaganda
15 May 2018

During this Age of Information (or should I say Too Much Information?), it’s difficult to log onto any social media site and avoid the turbulent disorder that is the world’s political stage. We’re constantly being exposed to some kind of political scandal or conflict that we simply must be aware of to stay well-informed. And so, with the waves of Wi-Fi reporting on nuclear deals gone wrong and the world on another precipice, I thought I’d serve up the AMD Special: a film from the archives of the British Film Institute.

Life in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp
27 April 2018

Tens of thousands of British servicemen endured the brutal treatment in Japan’s prisoner of war camps during World War Two. Foreign Office Files for Japan, 1946-1952: Occupation of Japan makes available the signed affidavits of some of these men, who documented their ill-treatment to help prosecute those responsible.

“Passive Women”: Uncovering the story of Josina Machel and the Mozambique Liberation Front
29 March 2018

Whilst working on the Gender: Identity and Social Change resource, I was drawn to Revolutionary Women.

It's a Long Way to Tipperary... from Prague
23 March 2018

This week has seen the launch of Adam Matthew's much-anticipated Service Newspapers of World War Two, our first newspaper collection. Featuring over 200 publications produced by and for military personnel serving around the world– searchable at article-level thanks to METS/ALTO technology – the resource offers a fascinating global perspective into the wartime experience.

The (Sex) Bomb that Won the War
20 March 2018

During World War Two and its aftermath, journalism played a vital role in keeping servicemen informed and connected, wherever they happened to be stationed across the world. Service Newspapers of World War Two, which publishes this week, features around 200 different titles that give a wonderful glimpse into a part of wartime life that is rarely explored.

A Global Conflict; Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab Revolt
23 February 2018

The popular narratives of the First World War told today (and particularly those used by supermarkets to sell chocolates at Christmas) usually play out against a familiar backdrop of a frosty northern France, complete with mud-sodden khaki, rat infested trenches, and a quaint football match dashed out between the barbed wire fences. Our collective memory latches on to the parts of the First World War that we deem to be significant to us, and consequentially allow other theatres of the conflict to fall by the wayside of our remembrance. 

 

Guildford Courthouse and an Eighteenth-Century Adonis of War
21 February 2018

1775 and the American colonies were in turmoil. A young, newly-volunteered cavalry Cornet by the name of Banastre Tarleton set sail for America with Lord General Cornwallis, hoping to play a part in the rising conflict. Like many young men with modest fortunes, a debauched London lifestyle had left its mark and the army offered excellent prospects to make a name for himself.

[12 3 4  >>