Colonial War Memorials

  • Robert Aldrich


Among the most ubiquitous of monuments are war memorials. Although commemorations of both battlefield victories and defeats have long figured in the European monumental landscape, the First World War led to an explosion of memorials. Rare is the town or village without at least a simple stela engraved with the names of native sons who died. From the most modest plaque to the most grandiose statuary group, these omnipresent reminders testify to the extraordinary losses experienced in the war, and serve as sites for public ceremonies and private grieving. Much has been written on memorials to the Great War: their design and iconography, placement and significance in collective memory, and the rituals carried out in their shadows.1 The tradition of First World War memorials continued with the monumental recollection of the Second World War. However, France’s subsequent military engagements — notably the wars in Indochina and Algeria — are less often represented, an indication of uncertain memories about controversial conflicts and the defeat of the French by Asian and North African nationalists.


Collective Memory Colonial History French Soldier French Troop Remembrance Ceremony 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Robert Aldrich 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Aldrich
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneyAustralia

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