Canon Professor Michael Snape, Durham University, and Dr Victoria Henshaw, University of Birmingham
This article examines questions of continuity and change in the religious experience of armed conflict, taking as its subjects the chaplains of the British Expeditionary Force (or B.E.F.) in France and Belgium between 1914 and 1918, and the mainly British component of Task Force Helmand (or T.F.H.) between 2006 and 2014. Drawing on evidence from both periods, including specially donated manuscript material and twenty-nine interviews with serving army chaplains, all of whom are veterans of Helmand, its findings reveal a remarkable degree of continuity between the experiences of chaplains in two very different operational contexts.
Alicia Henneberry, postgraduate student
Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow
The Glasgow University Great War Project is remembering the many men who fought and died bravely on the front lines in World War I. For this particular facet of the project, I focused on an aspect of this war that took place much closer to home for those of us on the University of Glasgow campus. I endeavoured to uncover aspects of the lives of those who studied and served from the University of Glasgow’s Divinity Faculty – the Chaplains and Theology Students of World War I. Read more…
Martin Killeen, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham
Joseph Southall was born into a Nottingham Quaker family in 1861; on the death of his father the following year his mother brought him to Birmingham. He first learned to paint at the Friends’ School in Yorkshire, before joining the Birmingham firm of architects, Martin and Chamberlain, which he left in 1882 to attend the Birmingham School of Art. Here he met A.J. Gaskin and became one of the emerging Birmingham Group, an important school of artists heavily influenced by Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and John Ruskin.
Michael Snape, University of Birmingham
It is hard to overestimate the importance of religious belief for British society during the First World War. For most Britons, the vast majority of whom were believing, if not necessarily churchgoing Christians, the war was understood as a ‘just war’ which demanded great, and even Christ-like, sacrifice and service.