The Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars

University of Edinburgh

Through an examination of veteran experience and visual, literary and 
filmic representations, this conference explores the concept of 
Britain as a multi-national state in wartime. The conference also 
addresses Irish citizens who volunteered to serve in the British armed 

Registration is now open. For more information and booking, go to:

The Second World War is often seen as constituting a high-water mark of Britishness: a time when a strong sense of nationhood bound together England, Scotland and Wales; when the British were represented as one people, united by a sense of common identity and purpose. Yet, as the work of Sonya Rose suggests, the wartime drive for unity was continually subject to challenge and contestation on the grounds of national, ethnic, gender and geographic difference. This conference aims to address Britain as a multi-national state, recovering diversity and exploring the ways in which Wales, Scotland and England related to the overarching concept of Britishness. The conference will also explore the relationship between Ireland and Britain during the war, in particular Irish citizens who volunteered to serve in the British forces.

There will be an invited panel of experts including Dr Jeremy Crang (Edinburgh), Professor Brian Girvin (Glasgow), Dr Martin Johnes (Swansea) and Professor Gary Sheffield (Birmingham) who will address the experiences of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England at war respectively.

On the evening of Thursday 28 June, the Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars will host a wine reception at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. This will form part of a cultural event, The Warrior Poet: a Multinational Perspective on the Second World War.

Conference organisers: Dr Wendy Ugolini (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Juliette Pattinson (Strathclyde University)