In the absence of an invasion or a system of military conscription, the need to persuade people to rally behind the war effort was particularly pressing in the United Kingdom in the opening months of the First World War.
British and Irish priests, minsters and rabbis were at the forefront of this process of cultural mobilisation, appealing to their congregations to support the war in whatever way they could.
Over the course of the conflict, thousands of clergymen also played an important and increasingly valued role as British Army chaplains in the various theatres of war.
In this revealing talk, Dr Edward Madigan will look at the way civilian clergymen responded to the war. He will also consider the evolution of British Army chaplaincy on the Western Front, with a particular focus on the Battle of the Somme (1916).
Dr Edward Madigan is Senior Lecturer in Public History at Royal Holloway University of London and Director of the London Centre for Public History. His research and teaching combine cultural, military and social history, with a particular focus on the British and Irish experience and memory of the First World War.
Before joining the history faculty at Royal Holloway, Dr Madigan was resident historian at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.