British Widows of the First World War: The Forgotten Legion

British Widows of the First World War: The Forgotten Legion

by Andrea Hetherington


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Widows of the Great War is the first major account of the experience of women who had to cope with the death of their husbands during the conflict and then rebuild their lives. It explores each stage of their bereavement, from the shock of receiving the news that their husband had been killed, through grief and mourning to the practical issues of compensation and a widow's pension. The way in which the state and society treated the widows during this process is a vital theme running through the book as it reveals in vivid detail how the bureaucracy of war helped and hindered them as they sought to come to terms with their loss. Andrea Hetherington also describes often overlooked aspects of bereavement, and she features many telling first-hand accounts from the widows themselves which show how they saw their situation and how they reacted to it. Her study gives us a fascinating insight into the way in which the armed services and the government regarded war widows during the early years of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473886766
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 06/25/2018
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Andrea Hetherington is an independent researcher and writer with a particular interest in the social history of the First World War. She has acted as a consultant to a number of Heritage Lottery funded projects on the war in Yorkshire and is a regular speaker at events throughout the region. Her publications include ‘“Any little article I would be pleased to have”: The Experience of British Widows of the First World War’ in Britain Goes to War edited by Peter Liddle and The History of Procter Brothers Ltd.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Chapter 1 Lady Visitors and Army Wives 1

Chapter 2 Becoming a Widow 15

Chapter 3 Working Widows 33

Chapter 4 Charity and Self-help 47

Chapter 5 Officers and Gentlewomen 61

Chapter 6 Misbehaving Husbands and Inquisitive Wives 75

Chapter 7 Widows and the Law 91

Chapter 8 Religion and Spiritualism 101

Chapter 9 Returning Heroes and Post-war Deaths 113

Chapter 10 Unworthy of our Royal Favour: Widow's Pension Forfeiture Cases 129

Chapter 11 Widows and Emigration 145

Chapter 12 Remarriage and Remembrance 157

Afterword 173

Endnotes 175

Select Bibliography 193

Index 197

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