Ben Holmes



College: College of Humanities

I've been a student at Exeter since my undergraduate degree, completing my Bachelors in 2013 and my Masters in 2014. I returned to Exeter in September 2015 to start an AHRC-funded research project on the humanitarian work British charities carried out for German civilians during and after the First World War. I am looking at how charities like Save the Children and the Friends Emergency Committee (part of the Society of Friends) were able to raise funds and provide relief to civilians who many contemporary Britons considered 'the enemy'. This will hopefully shed light on how ties of friendship between Britons and Germans survived the hostility of the war years, and provide insight into the changing nature of humanitarian relief during this turbulent historical period.

My interest in this topic was sparked by my Masters dissertation on the British Army's liberation of POW and concentration camps in Germany in 1945, part of which encompassed the humanitarian relief devoted to liberated prisoners. This project reflects my historical interest in war and its impact on society and my broader chronological interest in modern British and European history.