The popular image of the British soldier in the First World War is of a passive victim, caught up in events beyond his control, and isolated from civilian society. This book offers a different vision of the soldier's experience of war. Using letters and official sources relating to Liverpool units, Helen McCartney shows how ordinary men were able to retain their civilian outlook and use it to influence their experience in the trenches. These citizen soldiers came to rely on local, civilian loyalties and strong links with home to bolster their morale, whilst their civilian backgrounds helped them challenge those in command if they felt they were being treated unfairly. The book examines the soldier not only in his military context but in terms of his social and cultural life. It will appeal to anyone wishing to understand how the British soldier thought and behaved during the First World War.

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