british home front

I’ve just stumbled across this marvelous thing!

There’s lots of interesting stuff (food for thought?) here, starting with official recognition that the number of people living alone had risen - and that some of those people were men. (Foyle’s War fan fiction authors, please take note.) What leapt out at me, though, is a single word in the section on points changes:

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‘Rip’ the dog served in Poplar, London with the Air Raid Precautions during World War II, patrolling with the ARP wardens on their rounds. Not only was he of great help in searching through the rubble following a hit on a building, but he was also a very popular visitor with the children in air-raid shelters, helping to boost their morale.

(IWM)

On queer spinsters

Queer spinsterdom is a state I think a lot about: as someone who identifies as queer, as a woman (ish), as demisexual (ish), and who is generally happier single than partnered, I feel invested in it as a personal identity and state of being and as a mode of representation. The thing is, though, that like lots of queer representation, like lots of representation of women, like lots of representation of single women, the representation around queer spinsters is pretty fucking shitty. 

The impetus for this post, right now, is that yesterday afternoon I went to see Their Finest. I had been intrigued by it, because I do love a British WW2 home front drama, and become doubly interested when this photoset of Rachael Stirling looking very dapper in her role as Phyl Moore went around. I love Rachael Stirling! I love ‘40s dapper costuming! I love Rachael Stirling playing queer/queer-coded characters in period pieces! And, in Their Finest, it’s not just coding - there are three separate moments that affirm Moore’s queerness. Great!

I went in with anticipation; I came out feeling absolutely gutted.

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“‘Rip’ the dog and an ARP Warden survey the scene of devastation following an air raid in Latham Street, Poplar. The bomb crater is full of water. In the background, the remains of the local surface shelter can be seen, which, although slightly damaged, is still largely intact. Piles of rubble and timber can also be seen.”

(IWM)

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In honor of the upcoming 70th anniversary of D-Day, the National Archives will be screening “The True Glory” on Friday at noon.

We will be screening the restored digital theater copy of the film, created by our Motion Picture Preservation Lab. Read more about the challenges of the restoration of the film here: http://go.usa.gov/8pAx

Garson Kanin and Carol Reed shaped a massive amount of unedited combat footage from nine different nations into a film that documented the events at the end of the war and bolstered the British and American home fronts.

The film chronicled the events in Europe from the Normandy invasion to the fall of the Nazi Party, and used first person narratives from multiple nationalities and roles, including the perspective of women and African-Americans.

“The True Glory” went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1945.

The screening is free and open to the public. Enter the National Archives through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue.