‘The Front Line’: Firefighting in British Culture, 1939–1945

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This article examines cultural depictions of firemen during the Second World War in film, radio and the press. It focuses on the masculine identities ascribed to those unable to fulfil the idealised masculine role of being in the armed forces. The article argues that firemen’s role in the defence of Britain gave them access to many, if not all, of the ideal attributes more commonly associated with the venerated image of the armed forces hero. However, such an image was temporally specific and only prominent during the months of the Blitz. As such, this article imparts important knowledge about men and masculinity in this period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-198
JournalContemporary British History
Issue number2
Early online date13 Oct 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Oct 2014


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