2004
Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437

Abstract

Abstract

This article considers the ways in which the male life course in twentieth-century Britain can be reconstructed through individual personal pension files of British disabled ex-servicemen from the First World War. The files contain a range of documentation, including military enlistment and discharge forms, medical records, and correspondence from pensioners, their families, and other advocates. Close reading of five of these files explores pensioners’ changing experiences of health and disability. It examines men’s physical status as soldiers on enlistment, their ability to find work as physically or psychologically impaired ex-servicemen after the war, the significance of their status as husbands and fathers, and the effects of old age on their identity as men disabled in war. It argues that this ongoing engagement with the gendered legacies of war created a unique and important space in which the memory of the conflict was narrated.

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