War in the Fields and Villages: The County War Agricultural Committees in England, 1939–45

  • Author: Brian Short
  • Date: October 2007
  • Source: Rural History / Volume 18 / Issue 02 / October 2007 pp 217-244

article button on computer keyboard keyState intervention in the United Kingdom’s farming industry was necessitated by the problems of the interwar depression and the lead up to World War Two and the emergency wartime food programme. This brought the need for greater bureaucratic machinery which would connect individual farmers and their communities with central government. Crucial from 1939 in this respect was the formation of the County War Agricultural Executive Committees, which became the channels through which English farming was propelled into postwar productivism. Using relatively newly-available documentary material, this article demonstrates the role the committees played in the transmission of national policies down to the local level, their composition and membership. In so doing it also places the economic changes within farming into the vital but under-researched context of their rural social relations during the Second World War.


War Tourisms: ‘Englishness’, Art and the First World War

  • Author: Sue Malvern
  • Date: June 2001
  • Source: Oxford Art Journal;2001, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p45

article button on computer keyboard keyThis article analyses how constructions of Englishness and landscape in the First World War and after were marked by a series of double displacements. British official war artists’ work was published as propaganda. In books such as The Western Front, northern France was judged against an ‘Englishness’ itself being renegotiated through its encounter with imagined German stereotype. After the war, a market for organized tours to the ‘Silent Cities’ of British war cemeteries on the actual battlefields developed while artists began anxiously to tour the English landscape searching for a lost completeness and identity as a poetic counterpart to a missing generation killed in the war. The land is often imagined as feminine in images of replenishment, nurture, and fertility, but I argue here that during and after the Great War, through ritualized encounters of war and peace, home and abroad, a complex gendering of ‘Englishness’ was worked out in landscapes, imagined both as female and male, and sometimes understood as literally composed of bodies.