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A century of Armistice Day: memorialisation in the wake of the First World War

Macleod, Jenny; Inall, Yvonne


Yvonne Inall


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In the wake of the First World War a set of commemorative traditions were invented that were met with a huge public response and were repeated in every subsequent November. These apparently unchanging traditions were reported in the media each year in ways that reflected the, then, present circumstances. This article explores the ideas of continuity and relevance as a means to chart the changing nature of public debate about the commemoration of war in Britain. It will consider three broad periods: inter-war, the Second World War and post-war decades, and the 1980s to the centenary years. It will argue that the commemorations were fiercely relevant in the inter-war period, but in the wake of the Second World War the commemorations spoke far less directly to the experiences and emotional legacy of that later war. Attendance and newspaper reporting of the event diminished significantly in this period. However, from the 1980s and particularly the late 1990s renewed interest and relevance became apparent. The sustained period of warfare from 2001 onwards added further to this.


Macleod, J., & Inall, Y. (2020). A century of Armistice Day: memorialisation in the wake of the First World War. Mortality, 25(1), 48-68.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 16, 2018
Online Publication Date May 23, 2019
Publication Date Jan 2, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 17, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 18, 2019
Journal Mortality
Print ISSN 1357-6275
Electronic ISSN 1469-9885
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 1
Pages 48-68
Keywords Commemoration; Armistice Day; Remembrance Sunday; First World War; Second World War; Korean War; Afghanistan; Centenary
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