Anglican army chaplains on the Western Front, 1914-1918
Citation:Edward Thomas Maksymilian Madigan, 'Anglican army chaplains on the Western Front, 1914-1918', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of History, 2007, pp 320
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In the years that followed the end of the Great War a number of texts were published by veterans of the British Expeditionary Force that portrayed the Anglican chaplains who served on the Western Front in an extremely negative light. The writers who produced this literature, the most well-known of whom was Robert Graves, painted a picture of a group of ineffectual cowards who lacked spirituality and conviction, and who served no useful purpose at the front. This study argues that while this bad press was perhaps inspired by very real impressions, the picture it provides is both incomplete and unrepresentative of ithe Anglican army chaplaincy on the Western Front. In order to build a strong quantitative picture of the chaplaincy from which to draw conclusions, a survey was conducted om a representative group of just over 700 chaplains who were all attached to the B.E.F. In order to build on the statistical data yielded by this survey, the abundance of prim;ary narrative material produced by chaplains and combatants during the war, as well as memoirs published in the decades since the Armistice, has also been examined. The picture that emerges from this material will be seen to be far more complex than that drawn by Graves and others in the post-war years.
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of History
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Type of material:thesis
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