In the high Victorian period it was accepted by many that the polo field, the cricket square, or the rugby pitch was the perfect training ground for the combat zone.
Yet, even more revealing was the way in which sporting language and imagery were deployed by combatants and non-combatants alike to shape and reconfigure the experience of conflict.
Through an examination of contemporary journalism, veterans’ memoirs, war novels and soldiers’ correspondence, Dr Peter Donaldson will reflect on the ways in which Britons have looked to the sporting world to impose a nobility and sense of moral purpose on the barbarities and horrors of front-line combat.
Peter Donaldson is a Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Kent. His teaching and research interests lie in the representation and remembrance of war. His latest book, ‘Sport, War and the British: 1850 to the Present’, was published by Routledge in March 2020.