Welcome to the Men, Women and Care blog, part of the Men, Women and Care research project being undertaken at the University of Leeds. The project involves four key members, Jessica Meyer (PI), Alexia Moncrieff (postdoctoral research assistant), Eilis Boyle (PhD student) and Bethany Rowley (PhD student), as well as a number of associated researchers who are contributing time and effort to the project. Do hop over the the ‘People’ page to find out a bit more about who we are and what research we do.
The project itself involves the creation of a database of information about British disabled ex-servicemen from the First World War gleaned from the PIN 26 files, the section of the National Archives relating to First World War Pension Awards files. This database, which will contain demographic information about the nearly 23,000 men whose files have survived, will be used to carry out quantitative analysis of questions relating to war disability and its treatment by the State in the interwar period. Creating the database will also allow us to identify files which contain relevant material for qualitative analysis (letters, medical records, investigator reports) around our particular areas of research. These include the role of women in providing care within the home, distance and care provision for overseas pensioners, social stigma in relation to facial disfigurement and psychological wounds, and the role of religious charities in providing care for ex-servicemen.
Throughout the project we will be working with partners, including the National Archives and Legacies of War, to develop events, engagement activities and additional research projects relating to the material we uncover. Please keep an eye on this website for details of all our activities, publications and upcoming events. We are also keen to hear from anyone interested in the subject of our research, whether a family member of a disabled serviceman or woman, a scholar interested in researching the subject or an organisation involved in care provision or care policy interested in exploring innovative and engaging ways for our research to contribute to your aims. Please use the contact page to get in touch.
Finally, we will be using this blog to communicate our research findings, telling the stories of the men and women whose postwar lives have been recorded in the pension files. Jessica, Alexia, Eilis and Beth will all be posting at different times about different facets of these records. We hope you find them interesting and look forward to engaging in future discussions about this particular legacy of the First World War.