‘Few things in life are less funny than war’: Reclaiming the humour in the horror

Juliette Pattinson, Linsey Robb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Speaking in a 1943 radio broadcast to women across the empire about female workers who downplayed the significance of their work to the wider war effort, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the then Queen, noted that humour was a powerful component of the British war effort:

The courage of our people is reinforced, too, by one of the strongest weapons in our national armoury: a sense of humour that nothing can daunt. With this weapon of amazing temper, that turns every way, our people keep guard over their sanity and their souls. I have seen that weapon in action many, many times in the last few years, and I well know how much it can help in the really bad times.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Humour and the Second World War
Subtitle of host publication‘Keep Smiling Through’
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781350199477, 9781350199484, 9781350201682
ISBN (Print)9781350201668
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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