Gender, grief and bereavement in Second World War Britain

Lucy Noakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the discursive structures which helped to 'manage' the public exression of grief in Second World War Britain. Arguing that women, long seen as the more 'emotional' of the sexes, were subject to emotional management through a variety of measures, the article looks at films, magazine articles and novels to consider the ways in which these texts can be understood as offering advice on the public expression of grief at a time when the upkeep of morale was seen to be central to the shared war effort, and grief as undermining of this. The article concludes by examining some more recent memories of grief during the war, arguing that these demonstrate how, even if many managed to maintain a 'stiff upper lip' in public during the war, the impact of wartime death is nonetheless long lasting and deeply felt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-85
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of War and Culture Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

© W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2014


  • air raids
  • bereavement
  • mourning
  • death
  • gender
  • grief
  • Second World War


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