UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A hard rain: Children's Shrapnel collections in the Second World War

Moshenska, G; (2008) A hard rain: Children's Shrapnel collections in the Second World War. J MAT CULT , 13 (1) 107 - 125. 10.1177/1359183507086221.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Anti-aircraft shells exploding at high altitudes scattered shards of red-hot steel across the towns and cities of Britain during the Second World War. For many schoolchildren, collecting and trading this shrapnel became a popular social activity, often recalled today in oral history interviews. Drawing on testimonies collected as part of the People's War project, this article examines these curious and neglected processes of accumulation, exchange and disposal, looking at the aesthetic qualities that gave shrapnel fragments their value and attractiveness. In doing so, it attempts to locate children's shrapnel collections within their social worlds, as well as within broader discussions of material culture and modern conflict. It highlights the significant differences from other more typical forms of collecting, and some of the more subversive uses that children found for their shrapnel. The article also raises the possibility that collecting these violent objects may have been a way for children to cope with the upheaval and brutality of total war.

Type: Article
Title: A hard rain: Children's Shrapnel collections in the Second World War
DOI: 10.1177/1359183507086221
Keywords: childhood, collecting, home front, memory, warfare
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/118895
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item