Church of England Army Chaplains in the First World War: Goodbye to 'Goodbye to All That'

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The British experience of the First World War has given rise to a host of myths and misconceptions in both the folklore and the historiography of the war. The most damaging of these for the Church of England has been that its army chaplains skulked in the rear while a generation of British men fought and died in the trenches of the Western Front. This article exposes the falsity of this myth, tracing its origins to the inter-war boom in 'war books' and its longevity among ecclesiastical historians in particular to the pacifist sensitivities and flawed historiography of the 1960s and the 1970s.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-345
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Ecclesiastical History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011