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  • 2017purdyphd

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Westfield War Memorial Village: disability, paternalism and philanthropy, 1915-2015

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2017
Number of pages265
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • AHRC
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Despite a growing amount of study into war-related disability, little research has been undertaken into the role played by the paternalistic philanthropists and volunteers who did so much to support the individuals directly affected. This thesis endeavours to go some way towards redressing the balance by using a bespoke community built for disabled veterans and their families after the First World War, The Westfield War Memorial Village in Lancaster, as a case study. Drawing largely on material held in Westfield’s privately held archive, as well as extensive contemporary interviews with tenants and trustees (past and present), their spouses, offspring, friends and relatives, the work explores the validity of the prevailing approach of many modern historians towards paternalistic processes: one that seeks to interlink it with adverse associations of social control, political manipulation and middle class do-goodism. In order to facilitate a more balanced and in-depth perspective, this thesis has embraced an ambitious timeline that has allowed for full consideration of the way different paternalistic themes have evolved over time at Westfield and ultimately contributed to the settlement’s longevity.