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Wales since 1939$
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Martin Johnes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086663

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086663.001.0001

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‘The Waging of War.’ 1939–45

‘The Waging of War.’ 1939–45

(p.7) 1 ‘The Waging of War.’ 1939–45
Wales since 1939

Martin Johnes

Manchester University Press

The first chapter explores the Welsh experience of the Second World War, paying particular attention to how the war interacted with popular ideas of Welshness and Britishness. It argues that the war heightened both popular conceptions of Welsh and British national identities. This resulted in a sense of pragmatic British patriotism that often transcended class and regional divides creating what was known as the ‘People's War’, but with ideas and stereotypes of Welsh characteristics and identity still prevailing. It suggests that wider social conventions were reinforced rather than revolutionized during the war years. But, above all, it makes clear that the war left deep personal scars that had far more impact on people's lives than any effect the war had on national and regional identities.

Keywords:   Second World War, Conscription, ‘People's War’, Plaid Cymru, British identity, Welsh identity, stereotypes

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