War and Conflict

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.

Plum Pudding In A Shell Hole: Christmas Baking In World War I
08 December 2017

This week we held a charity Christmas “Winter Wonderland” bake off in the Adam Matthew office. Marshmallow penguins and snowy forest floor s’mores competed against traditional yule logs and cakes decorated with snowmen, Christmas trees and gambolling reindeer. The joy that these seasonal bakes bring to a modern consumer must pale in comparison to that experienced by soldiers in the frozen, muddy trenches of the Western Front during the First World War. From “pop-up” dinners in shell holes and Christmas puddings delivered by messenger motorcycles, to what must surely have been a record-breaking cake, the photographs available in The First World War portal offer fascinating, and at times humbling, glimpses into culinary Christmas celebrations at the front and behind the lines.

Charles J.C. Hutson And Confederate Flag Culture: A Special Guest Blog
06 December 2017

The letters of Charles J.C. Hutson, a former student of South Carolina College and a soldier in the First South Carolina Volunteers, provide insight on various topics pertaining to the American Civil War era. ... But it is Hutson’s remarks on a company flag from early in the war that this piece will focus upon. Though perhaps trivial at first glance, these remarks offer us a personal perspective on the complex ways in which southerners developed a relationship with their fledgling nation and their wider ideas about the Civil War.

The Great Game Revisited: Afghanistan In The 1970s
01 December 2017

It was in the early 1970s that Afghanistan entered into the spiral of governmental instability, insurgency, outright civil war and foreign interventions that has plagued it to the present day. Amongst the dozens of Afghan-focused files in our resource 'Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan' two which date from the regime of Mohammad Daoud Khan, president from 1973 to 1978, shed light both on the circumstances under which he came to power and, with some considerable prescience, on the potential for instability and Soviet intervention which it was feared might follow the end of his rule.

In the Name of Lenin: Electrifying the Great October Revolution
08 November 2017

To celebrate the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Professor Graham Roberts introduces the 1932 film short, In the Name of Lenin. Directed by Mikhail Slutskii, this 14 minute feature was produced in the USSR to celebrate industrial progress in the years following the Revolution.

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