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|Title: ||Army chaplains in the First World War|
|Authors: ||Brown, Alison M.|
|Issue Date: ||1996|
|Abstract: ||In 1914, Church leaders assumed that fighting men would
require the ministrations of ordained clergymen close to the front
line. The War Office Chaplains' Department had few plans for the
deployment of chaplains beyond a general expectation that the
Churches would be willing to release men for service as required.
Army Officers seemed to have little warning about the arrival of
chaplains to accompany their units and very few ideas about the
role chaplains could be expected to fulfil once they had arrived.
The chaplains themselves embarked on overseas service with no
special training and very little guidance about the nature of the
task ahead of them. They received very little support from the
Chaplains' Department or their home church in the first months of
the war. Left to carve out a role for themselves, they were
exposed to an environment churchmen at home could not begin to
Many chaplains left diaries and letters, the majority of
which have never been published. They provide a unique insight
into life with the troops, seen through the eyes of men who owed
their first allegiance to their Church rather than to the Army
whose uniform they wore. Post-war criticism of chaplains has
obscured the valuable contribution many clergymen made to the
well-being of the troops and to the reform movement within the
Church of England after the war. The files of the Archbishop of
Canterbury also provide important information about the troubled
relationships between chaplains and their Department and with
Church leaders at home.
In seeking to determine the nature of the chaplains'
duties and responsibilities, this study attempts to discover why
clergymen faced so much criticism and why even their own churches
were sometimes alarmed by the views aired by serving chaplains.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Divinity Theses|
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