Catriona Pennell

University of Exeter
My research focuses on the cultural history of war, particularly the First World War. I am interested in how familial and local experiences of the war can help us understand the broader framework of this unprecedented global conflict. I have recently published a monograph based on my doctoral research that examined popular responses in Britain and Ireland to the outbreak of the First World War. In my next project, I would like to continue my interest in the Irish narrative of the war by examining the home and fighting front experiences of the 36th (Ulster) and 16th (Irish) divisions during the final spring offensives of March 1918. Moving beyond the First World War, I would like to develop my interest in the post-war Middle East, particularly the British mandate period in Palestine, Iraq and Transjordan, to examine imperial control in practice and the question of ‘power’ behind the mandated thrones.

Rethinking British Volunteerism in 1914: A Rush to the Colours?

In this video and audio podcast Dr Catriona Pennell, Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter, discusses the British response to the outbreak of War in 1914, exposing the reaction to be much more complex than traditional images have … Continue reading

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August 1914: England’s Difficulty, Ireland’s Opportunity?

Retrospectively, the summer of 1914 was portrayed as the culmination of the long Edwardian idyll that stood in contrast to the rupture and disharmony brought by the outbreak of the First World War. In reality, the pre-war period was one … Continue reading

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Is act of remembrance losing its original ‘never again’ sentiment?

At 11 am today, on the 11th day of this, the 11th month, much of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and beyond, will fall silent in a two-minute moment of reflection. But reflecting on what? This year, for some, it … Continue reading

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