London Pride: The London Regiment in Peace and War 1908-1920

London Pride is an academic research project into the military, social, literary and cultural aspects of the London Regiment form its formation in 1908, its service in the Great War, to its disembodiment in 1921.

 

The project will produce a scholarly volume of around 25 essays in an edited volume to be published by Helion & Co. in 2019 or 2020.

 

Charles Fair and I (Dr Tom Thorpe) run the project. We both  have a deep interest in the London Regiment as a result of relatives serving in constituent battalions during the Great War.

 

The name London Pride comes from a flower, Saxifraga × urbium, that Charles saw growing on graves of London Regiment soldiers in High Wood Cemetery.

 

The project is in its early days and we are seeking authors who may want to contribute possible articles.

 

Why the London Regiment?

The London Regiment is a formation that has received scant scholarly attention even though it raised a record 88 infantry battalions during the Great War, the highest number for any corps during that conflict.[1]

 

Each battalion was regarded as a regiment in its own right having distinct badges, uniforms and traditions reflecting their very different lineages from their predecessor volunteer battalions. The London Regiment was an integral part of metropolitan London’s history and involvement in the Great War, as 80% of the Regiment’s men were London residents.[2] Units also recruited men from distinct areas of London, occupational groups (for example, the Civil Service, the General Post Office and artists), social classes and ethnic minorities (notably Scottish and Irish).

 

Submissions sought

The project is seeking papers from authors and expressions of interest are welcome. The publication is structured in five themes in a broad chronological format (London Pride – Outline of chapters for London TF book v13). Contributions are sought which cover a specific military, social, cultural or historical aspect of a unit affiliated to the London Regiment. This covers infantry, artillery, ASC, medical, nursing and other formations and also the wartime divisions in which London Regiment units dominated, notably the 47th, 56th, 58th and 60th Divisions.

 

If people are interested, they are invited to submit a brief proposal covering:

  1. Authors name/contact details
  2. Paper title and short description (around 100 words) – this would appear in an updated draft document
  3. Biography (no more than 100 words, this would sit in the front of the publication).

 

Please send submissions to me (tomthorpe2@gmail.com) with the title ‘London Pride’.

 

Please check current plan [London Pride – Outline of chapters for London TF book v13] to ensure that any proposed articles do not clash with planned submissions and look at the author guidelines on page 4. All manuscripts will need to comply with Helion regulations set out in Helion Author Guidelines v1.3 January 2016.

 

Once a submission has been accepted, an updated version of the plan will be posted.

 

Conference

A one-day conference is proposed in the Spring of 2018 (probably May) somewhere in London.

 

It will be organised in conjunction with the Western Front Association, London branch and East London branch of the WFA (and possibly the British Commission for Military History). It will aim to:

More details will follow.

 

Notes: 

[1] E.A. James, British Regiments 1914-1918 (Dallington, 1974), Table C.

[2] A. Gregory, ‘Lost generations: the impact of military casualties in Paris, London and Berlin’, in J. Winter & J Robert (eds), Capital Cities at War (London, 1997), p.63.