Book Chapter

Heaven grant you strength to fight the battle for your race’: Nationalism, pan-africanism and the first world war in jamaican memory

R Smith

Race, Empire and First World War Writing | Published : 2011


In 1981 the Iran–Iraq war (1980–8) had become mired in the trench warfare and gas attacks of an earlier era. The Jamaican writer John Hearne was moved to reflect on the nature and impact of twentieth-century warfare. Although he had been born eight years after the Armistice, the First World War had loomed as a ‘grey fear’ for Hearne, a stain on his childhood representing the abiding anxiety that his father, twice wounded in the conflict, would heed another call of Empire and not return. This overwhelming anticipation of loss marred an otherwise idyllic journey from boy to man, which Hearne often spent in the company of a father he clearly adored. His upbringing in the higher reaches of Jamai..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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