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Serving the city: Cardiff County Borough in the Second World War

Wareham, Evonne Elaine 2020. Serving the city: Cardiff County Borough in the Second World War. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Even before the conflict began, the British government was aware that the Second World War would be a bombing war, and that the civilian population was at risk, as never before. In order to combat this threat it looked to physical means of protection, by way of air raid shelters, and called into being a massive volunteer defence force, intended to deal with the effects of bombing raids on the general public. While it put in place a network of twelve Regional Commissioners, with wartime responsibilities, instead of creating a new regional administration to manage these novel tasks, it chose to place the necessary organisation in the hands of the existing local government machine. Local authorities such as Cardiff County Borough were obliged to take responsibility for providing shelter accommodation and overseeing the Air Raid Protection (ARP), or Civil Defence Force, and also expected to provide practical input to campaigns such as those for salvage, Dig for Victory, Holidays at Home and National Savings and the British Restaurant initiative. Historians have given much attention to the ARP aspects of the Second World War, but the contribution of the local authorities to its organisation, and to the work of the propaganda campaigns, has received much less consideration. In looking in detail at the wartime activities of a single authority, the thesis probes overlooked elements of the civilian war, and considers the tasks that a local authority was called upon to perform, as a practical organisational bridge between central government and citizens. It makes a case for the role of local government to be given greater attention than has previously been offered, thereby opening the way for a new approach to the perception of wartime local authorities, if other similar studies, in other areas of the country, were to follow.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 15 July 2020
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:30

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