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Title: Assisting Mrs Tommy Atkins: Gender, Class, Philanthropy, and The Domestic Impact of the South African War, 1899–1902
Authors: Riedi, Eliza
First Published: 8-Mar-2017
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Citation: Historical Journal, 2017, 1-25
Abstract: Despite the well-established historiography examining the South African war’s impact upon British society, little attention has been paid to the plight of British soldiers’ families or to the charitable efforts mobilised to maintain them in the absence of adequate state support. This article, focusing on the key charity in the field, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association (SSFA), examines the SSFA’s wartime policies and considers how the Association’s actions influenced subsequent state policy-making. It explores the motivations and attitudes of its middle-class, mostly female, volunteers, on whose sustained commitment the work of the SSFA depended. In analysing the sources of the SSFA’s funding, it considers how class and regionality shaped public giving to patriotic philanthropy. Finally, it investigates how perceptions of soldiers’ wives and mechanisms for their support in the First World War were affected by the South African war experience. Overall, the article aims both to demonstrate the importance of philanthropic aid to soldiers’ families in understanding the domestic impact of this imperial war, and to trace the longer term effects on the development of policies towards servicemen’s dependents.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0018246X16000376
ISSN: 0018-246X
eISSN: 1469-5103
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017 Cambridge University Press (CUP). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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