‘...and then there was one’ Cultural Representations of the Last British Veteran of the Great War

Long, Paul and Webber, Nick (2018) ‘...and then there was one’ Cultural Representations of the Last British Veteran of the Great War. Journal of War and Culture Studies, 12 (2). pp. 139-155. ISSN 1752-6272

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Abstract

This article reflects on the cultural representations of the last British veterans of the Great War, who passed away several years before the centenary commemorations. Focussing on Harry Patch (1898–2009) — celebrated as the last veteran to have fought on the Western Front — the article examines the ways in which Patch has served as a signal figure. The authors pay particular attention to the rhetorical motifs and narrative tropes of the popular press, evaluating how representations of Patch positioned him as a proxy not only for the generation who fought and died but as a focal point for working through contemporary perspectives on the meaning of the Great War. In so doing, they draw attention to the highly affective nature of this engagement, arguing that the loss of these veterans has not granted a form of closure but instead moved the territory of historical struggle to a new battlefield.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/17526272.2018.1536840
Dates:
DateEvent
27 September 2018Accepted
13 November 2018Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: public history, war veterans, Great War, representation, UK Press, affect
Subjects: P300 Media studies
Divisions: REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA34: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Paul Long
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2018 10:19
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 15:20
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6580

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