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The social impact of the First World War in Pembrokeshire

Hancock, Simon 2015. The social impact of the First World War in Pembrokeshire. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the economic, social and political changes in society of the largely rural Welsh county of Pembrokeshire during the First World War to establish to what extent war conditions were a major agency of change and whether that change was of short duration or long lasting. Regional and local studies of particular counties and towns provide for a micro-historical test of national hypotheses. The methodology of this thesis has been to extensively engage with all existing primary sources, for evidence of social change. The potency of a conservative reaction seeing custom, tradition and hankering after pre-war certainties has been identified as a factor successful in limiting the scope of social change. The introduction places the thesis in its historiographical frame and presents the national debate of continuity verses war-generated change. Chapter one investigates state expansion and regulation of everyday life through the Defence of the Realm Act. Chapter two discusses changes to the Pembrokeshire economy and the implications of wartime price rises. Chapter three discusses voluntary military enlistment, the operation of conscription at the local level through Military Service Tribunals, conscientious objection and female paramilitary military service and the gender implications which it raised. Chapter four considers the changing identities of individuals and the rich diversity of expression of patriotic wartime forms. Religious and cultural changes are analysed in chapter five with the effects of carefully choreographed propaganda expressed in public events. The vicarious experiences of war on a distant rural population, including spy and war scares, expressions of the psychology of wartime, are reviewed in chapter six in the v context of Pembrokeshire being a coastal county. The thesis concludes with an assessment which detects limited social change and greater long-term continuity than war exceptionalism as the Pembrokeshire experience.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 16:50

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