In 2011, Professor Michael Roper began a fascinating oral history project with 35 British descendants of women and men who had lived through the First World War.
Born in the 1920s and ‘30s, they grew up in the war’s shadow. Their early lives were sometimes marked by the deaths of relatives and war disabilities that left fathers unable to work and families short of money.
In this insightful talk, Professor Roper will reconstruct the impact of the First World War on the lives of the so-called ‘second generation’, from their childhoods and their own experiences of war after 1939, to their later lives.
Michael Roper is a social and cultural historian based in the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. His work focuses on family relationships and the impact of total war in the 20th century.
He is the author of 'Afterlives of War. A Descendants’ History', a study of First World War descendants in Britain, Australia and Germany. He also authored 'The Secret Battle: Emotional Survival in the Great War'.