'Fall in the Children'
: a regional study of the mobilisation of the children of the 42nd Regimental Area during the Great War

  • Norman Fraser Brown

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis concerns the mobilisation of children who lived within a clearly defined area of Scotland known as the 42nd Regimental Area during the Great War. It asserts that while these children lived through a time of enormous national and local upheaval, the majority of this numerically significant but often overlooked section of the population in terms of Great War studies were far from being helpless witnesses to the conflict on the Home Front or even passive bystanders, but were instead overwhelmingly reasonably well informed supporters of and valued net contributors to the British war effort. This thesis takes the form of a concentrated regional study, drawing heavily both on local sources and the holdings of the four Local Authority archives involved as it traces the evolution of children’s involvement in support work from their initial self-mobilisation to the eventual effective adult capture and direction of their work in the national interest. It takes the shape of a descriptive account of the local children’s war support activities which runs in parallel with analysis of the form of their physical and mental mobilisation and deployment, the limitations placed on that process, the sources of their motivation and an estimate of the extent of their financial contribution to the British war effort. This thesis attempts to strike and maintain an ongoing balance between the need to deal directly with the lived experience of local children while relating that same experience to the broader issues which dominate the historiography of the Great War on the Home Front. The final product is intended to expand current understanding of the shape of children’s mobilisation during the Great War through a study of the processes involved as well as the extent and effectiveness of that movement in one Scottish Regimental Area.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBilly Kenefick (Supervisor) & Derek Patrick (Supervisor)


    • Mobilization
    • Great War

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