CfP: A Holiday from War? „Resting“ behind the Lines during the First World War (Event: 06/2018, Paris); DL: 20.11.2017

Sarah Montin (EA PRISMES) and Clémentine Tholas-Disset (EA CREW)

Venue: Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle
Time: 22.-23.06.2018
Abstract Submission: 20.11.2017

Situated a few kilometers behind the front lines, the rear area is the space where soldiers rotated after several days burrowed at the front or in reserve lines, surfacing from the trenches to join rest stations, training installations, ammunition and food supply depots, hospitals, brothels, command headquarters or soldiers’ shelters. In that space in-between which is neither the site of combat nor that of civilian life, the soldiers were less exposed to danger and followed a barracks routine enlivened by relaxing activities which aimed to restore morale. If some soldiers found there a form of rest far from the fury of the guns, others suffered from the encroaching discipline, the imposition of training or the promiscuity with soldiers that were no longer brothers-in-arms in this buffer zone where they spent 3/5ths of their time. Both a place of abandonment and a place of control, the rear area merges at times with the civilian world as it occupies farms and villages and hosts non-combatants such as doctors, nurses or volunteers. With battles being waged close by, the “back of the front” (Paul Cazin) is a meeting place for soldiers of different armies and allied countries, as well as for officers and privates, soldiers and civilians, men and women, foreign troops and locals living in occupied zones. Read more and source … (Web)