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The Old Front Line: Returning To The Battlefields In The Writings Of Ex-Servicemen

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Chapter Summary

The old battlefield is imagined as a mute witness to the horrors and traumas of the war which can nonetheless impart its profound and tragic lesson to those who simply see it. This chapter principally concerns with uncovering and investigating the ex-servicemen?s reaction to the return to the old Western Front. It concentrates on the novels and memoirs of these returning soldiers to discover not only what they found when they went back but why they went. Before looking at the ex-servicemen?s experience, the chapter discusses various different types of visitors that were attracted to the old Western Front. The plans to bring women to the Front to bear witness to this unimaginable landscape were never realized to the full extent proposed by The Daily Telegraph. However those British women who were already in France and Belgium, namely nurses, were given the opportunity of travelling to the old front lines.

Keywords: battlefield; British women; ex-servicemen; old front lines; old Western Front; soldiers; The Daily Telegraph

10.1163/ej.9789004166585.i-383.55
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