London Pride

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

The project aims to produce a scholarly volume of around 25 essays in an edited volume to be published by Helion & Co. in 2024.

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. A list of prospective topics is set below – these are only ideas. 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 the current draft document (below) 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.

This is the current draft structure: London Pride – Outline of chapters for London TF book v18

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

The scope of submissions

The proposed book is a collection of scholarly essays which cover aspects of the London Territorial Force (TF) from 1908 to 1921.

Essays may focus on particular units, specific events involving the London Regiment, individuals who served in those units, or cover broader themes that use London TF battalions as case studies, for example, morale or desertion.

The organisational ‘remit’ for inclusion is a connection with any unit that was the responsibility of the City of London or County of London Territorial Force Associations between 1908 to 1921. This may cover all constituent units including infantry, artillery, engineers, nursing and other specialist formations. Geographically, this is the area of the 28 boroughs which comprised the County and City of London in 1914.

A series of potential subjects and topics have been included in this draft structure (above) to give an idea of the range and type of input that is being sought.

However, the editors are keen to hear from anyone who may like to submit an article. Contact details are: tomthorpe2@gmail.com

Author guidelines

Below are terms and conditions for people choosing to submit articles.

  1. Articles are no longer than 10,000 words including footnotes.
  2. Submissions cover a specific military, social, cultural, or historical aspect of a unit(s) or formation(s) and are referenced (use Helion Author Guidelines as a reference – link above).
  3. Papers for inclusion are submitted by 31.12.2022.
  4. The editors reserve the right to amend and edit articles to reduce duplications, obvious errors and other minor issues (e.g. offensive language).

Project timeline

The timeline of the project has slipped from previous versions of this paper. This has been mainly due to the COVID pandemic. The current timeline is now set out below:

  1. Authors to indicate their interest to Charles or Tom ASAP (contact details above).
  2. Papers for inclusion are submitted by 23:59, 31.12.2022.
  3. Conference to be held on the topic in 2022/23. It is hoped that this will be held in conjunction with the London branch of the Western Front Association.
  4. Editing: 2023
  5. Publication: 2024.

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.