skip to main content

A working man’s hell: working class men's experiences with work in the Australian imperial force during the Great War

Wise, Nathan, History & Philosophy, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW

2007

Check for online availability

  • Title:
    A working man’s hell: working class men's experiences with work in the Australian imperial force during the Great War
  • Author/Creator/Curator: Wise, Nathan, History & Philosophy, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW
  • Subjects: Working class men -- Australia.; Soldiers -- Australia.; Australia -- History, Military.
  • Resource type: Thesis
  • Type of thesis: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2007
  • Language: English
  • Print availability: 959.8/90 (Please speak to a staff member at the Library Help Zone)
  • Permissions: This work can be used in accordance with the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license.
    Please see additional information at https://library.unsw.edu.au/copyright/for-researchers-and-creators/unsworks

  • Description: Historical analyses of soldiers in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the GreatWar have focused overwhelming on combat experiences and the environment of thetrenches. By contrast, little consideration has been made of the non-combatexperiences of these individuals, or of the time they spent behind the front lines. Farfrom military experiences revolving around combat and trench warfare, the letters,diaries, and memoirs of working class men suggest that daily life for the rank and fileactually revolved around work, and in particular manual labour. Through a focus onworking class men's experiences in the AIF during the Great War, this dissertationseeks to discover more about these experiences with work in an attempt to understandthe broader aspects of life in the military.In this environment of daily work, many working class men also came toapproach military service as a job of work, and they carried over the mentalities of thecivilian workplace into their daily life in the military. This dissertation thus seeks tounderstand how workplace cultures were transferred from civilian workplaces into themilitary. It explores working class men's approaches towards daily work in twodifferent theatres of war, Gallipoli and the Western Front, in order to highlight thesignificance of work within military life. Furthermore, it evaluates aspects of thisworkplace culture, such as relations with employers, the use of workplace skills, andthe implementation of industrial relations methods, to understand the continuitiesbetween the lives of civilians and soldiers. Finally, this dissertation is not a militaryhistory: it adopts a culturalist approach towards the lives of people in the AIF, and inthe environment of the Great War, in an effort to place the military experiences ofthese working class men within the context of their broader civilian lives.

Searching Remote Databases, Please Wait