This book is about the battle for emotional survival of young British civilian soldiers during the Western Front in the First World War, and the part played by their families in that battle. Family relationships, it contends, sustained throughout wartime separation by memories of home, and by the letters and parcels sent by loved ones, played a key role in sustaining the morale of this young, largely amateur army. This is an original attempt to write the history of the war from the point of view of relationships between the home and battle fronts.
Roundtable discussion of Michael Roper's The Secret Battle: Emotional Survival in the Great War (Manchester, 2009)
Peter Barham, Deborah Thom (Robinson College, Cambridge), Sally Alexander (chair, Goldsmiths, University of London), with a response by Michael Roper (University of Essex).
2 December 2009