Unlikely relationships

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2014), Volume 22

Charlotte Despard (above)—remained on close terms with her younger brother

Charlotte Despard (above)—remained on close terms with her younger brother

A century on, the anti-war movement remains part of the peripheral and hidden history of the war. Those who took a stand against the conflict are still patronisingly dismissed as cranks. Some of the personal histories of how the war divided both Britain and Ireland have been well told by Adam Hochschild in his recent book To end all wars. This focused on various unlikely relationships that defined the ideological divisions of the time. The most remarkable was surely the lifelong devotion between the Anglo-Irish field marshal, Sir John French, commander-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Force during the first two years of the war, and his older sister Charlotte, a committed social worker, Irish republican, pacifist and suffragette.
Field Marshal Sir John French, original commander-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Force.

Field Marshal Sir John French, original commander-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Force.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568