Overlooking British Experiences: a reply to Evershed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Jonathan Evershed presents a compelling account of the clear dangers that lie in forms of state-led remembrance. The danger is, of course, that, in commemorating, actual experience is lost. While I do not wish to challenge any of the core claims in the piece, I do think that there is one element that requires greater examination: Evershed’s claim that contemporary Irish conceptions of the First World War as ‘A war that stopped a war’ ‘contributes to a (post)colonial and militaristic nostalgia in British political culture’. While the dangers of that for Northern Ireland are clear, perhaps the greatest risks lie in England, since any such benign account of the conflict serves radically to distort the experience of those soldiers commonly regarded as identifying as British and painted as being motivated by patriotism. Drawing on experience from Tyneside, I argue that, in considering the nature of that conflict, we must remember the many diverse, and often banal, reasons for working class engagement in conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-559
Number of pages3
JournalGlobal Discourse
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


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