Ben Holmes

Discipline: History

Project Summary

My project is studying the humanitarian work carried out by British charities for German civilians during and immediately after the First World War. In the context of the prevalent nationalism and hatred for 'the enemy' within wartime European societies, this project aims to uncover the motivations and principles which inspired individuals to help ‘enemy aliens’ in Britain who had been imprisoned or left destitute during the war, or civilians suffering from the post-war hunger crisis in Germany.

In doing so, it seeks to add a new dimension to the historiography of First World War ‘war cultures’ (culture de guerre). By studying a previously overlooked example of a highly politicised aid project, this thesis will also contribute to the growing historical interest in the history of humanitarian aid.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr Catriona Pennell (Exeter)

Secondary Supervisor: Dr James Clark (Bristol)

Wider Research Interests

Modern British and European history; the history of humanitarian aid; the impact of war on society; and the history of European imperialism