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Abstract

Using veterans of the First World War who became Conservative party M.P.s after 1918, this article re-examines the way the conflict was interpreted in post-1918 Britain. Pointing to the substantial numbers of men who fulfilled the above criteria (and how they used the conflict to reach such office) it illustrates one way in which the war was already being used as a significant political device before the more famous authors like Robert Graves began to bend the event to their narrative will from 1929. This had two important consequences: the Conservative party was given a greater ‘national’ appeal by proxy; and a somewhat simplified account of the war experience began to be forwarded, albeit not without some contestation and contradiction, earlier than we might think.