Military Welfare History: How Welfare Impacted Warfare in Twentieth-Century Conflicts – SYMPOSIUM

Date / time: 1 February, 2:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Military Welfare History: How Welfare Impacted Warfare in Twentieth-Century Conflicts - SYMPOSIUM


The Open University’s Centre for War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and the Military Welfare History Network welcome you to this online symposium. Its aim is to showcase the work of scholars whose research focuses on aspects of military welfare history, a diverse and growing discipline focused on the impacts of military service on those involved in it, both directly and indirectly, including military and naval personnel and their families, veterans, and civilians. This programme reflects the diverse, international membership of the MWHN, and its topics span the global conflicts of the twentieth century (including the interwar period), focusing on the spaces behind the lines and on the ‘home front’, as well as combat zones on land and at sea. Following a series of research papers, the symposium concludes with a roundtable discussion of key questions and debates within military welfare history today.


14:00-14:10 | Welcome: Dr Michael Reeve (Open University/MWHN) & Dr Paul Huddie (University College Dublin/MWHN)

14:10-14:40 | Abby S. Whitlock, Independent
‘“Perfect Health, Mechanical Mind”: Morale, Mental Health, and Judgments of Character in the Royal Flying Corps, 1914-1918’

14:40-15:10 | Dr Hilary Buxton, Kenyon College
‘Izzat and Invalid Economies: Recasting Military Welfare in the Interwar British Raj’

15:10-15:40 | Dr Eleanor O’Keeffe, National Centre for Social Research
‘Clubs Licensing and the Politics of Comradeship in Interwar Glasgow’

15:40-16:00 | Coffee break

16:00-16:30 | Dr Frances Houghton, The Open University
‘‘The Sick Bay should be the Social Centre of the Ship’: Merging Medicine and Welfare in the Royal Navy, 1939-45’

16:30-17:00 | Dr Alan Malpass, Bishop Grosseteste University
‘The Welfare of the Defeated: Public Initiatives for the Care of German POWs in post-WWII Britain’

17:00-17:45 |  Roundtable (all speakers): ‘What is military welfare history today?’

To register for the event, please visit this link and fill in the form:

Organised by:

If you require further information, or have any queries about the event, please email Dr Michael Reeve at