Town, gown and countryside: the impact of war on Cambridgeshire communities, 1914-1918

Costin, Joanna E. (2018) Town, gown and countryside: the impact of war on Cambridgeshire communities, 1914-1918. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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This thesis examines the impact of the First World War at a local level, using the interlinked communities of Cambridgeshire as a case study. It begins with a statistical analysis of enlistment and appeal to Tribunal, based on a study of 37,000 individuals who were either resident in one of the selected Cambridgeshire districts or who attended Clare College. This shows the influence of age, occupation, and location on wartime experience. It goes on to examine methods of recruitment, the operation of Tribunals, and the impact of the war on communal and individual relationships. It demonstrates the continued connection of the home front and fighting front through local war news, and assesses communal response to the war, both through voluntary mobilisation and increased wartime regulation. Despite being absent from their home communities, men on active service remained part of them through local war news and the symbolic return of the dead on local war memorials. The thesis concludes with an analysis of the fractures the war created in the local communities, through the loss of undergraduates and the issue of conscientious objection, and a series of short case studies on wartime suicide. This thesis argues for a progressive mobilisation of society, moving at different rates in different areas from volunteerism to conscription or compulsion, while showing that this movement was not solely dictated by the centre. It also demonstrates the importance of the local in understanding the war as a whole, and in enabling a more connected picture of different wartime narratives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: First World War, County Study, Cambridgeshire, Conscription, Home Front
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57

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