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The Politics of Memory on Liberation Day

  • Gillian CarrEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology book series (CGHA, volume 40)

Abstract

The experience in the Second World War of the Channel Islands was very similar to that of the rest of Western Europe; yet their war narrative is unmistakenly British, despite the gulf that exists between their experiences and those of the mainland. How and why did this come about? This chapter analyses the longevity and stability of the British war narrative in the collective memory of the Channel Islands through successive and palimpsestic commemorative master narratives. It also shows how official memory, imposed from above and with the direct help of the British government, has dominated public memory and narratives since 1945. Even where popular memory has been given a voice, especially since the 1970s onwards with the passing away of the older generation, it has rarely sought to challenge, nor has it acquired the commemorative density to challenge, the dominance of narratives which continue to focus on themes of patriotism and pride in military might and victory. This is in direct contrast to elsewhere in Europe, where paradigm shifts in memory were observed between the late 1960s and mid-1980s. Instead, new or marginalised narratives have been expressed either within the confines of the pre-existing framework of Liberation Day or else have mounted a separate, alternative commemorative space, providing an effective counter-memory which attracted those outside the establishment until the twenty-first century.

Keywords

Official memory Popular memory Re-enactment Cavalcade Patriotism Commemorative narrative Marginalisation Victory Liberation (obsession with) Memorials Sir Philip Bailhache 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Catharine’s CollegeCambridgeUK

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