Volume 51 part 1 (April 2006)


Sharif Gemie, The Ballad of Bourg-Madame: Memory, Exile and the Spanish Republican Refugees of the 'Retirada' of 1939
This paper analyses the experience of the Spanish Republican refugees who left Catalonia in the retirada of January and February 1939. The first section - 'the Road to Bourg-Madame' - considers issues of interpretation raised by the refugees' texts: it discusses historiography, the politics of memory and political culture. In 'Bourg-Madame', the second section, the essay considers the refugees' experiences. It discusses previous patterns of Spanish migration, the decision-making process that preceded the refugees' journey, group identity formation during the retirada, the gendered dimension of their experiences, the despair felt by many on arrival in France and the reception that the refugees met. The paper ends by discussing the surprising resilience of the refugees.

Shane Ewen, Managing Police Constables and Firefighters. Uniformed Public Services in English Cities, c. 1870-1930
This article uses archival research to compare the work-life histories of English police constables and fire-fighters between the 1870s and 1930s. In so doing, the article engages with an expanding historiography of policing and fire protection as blue-collar public sector occupations that originated in the emergence of social science research during the 1960s. In particular, it focuses on comparing the experiences of new police and fire recruits, their working responsibilities, the elaborate system of benefits awarded to both, and the disciplinary codes framed by employers to achieve loyal and complicit service in both occupations. Moreover, by examining a case study of two representative English boroughs, Birmingham and Leicester, it is argued that, despite their differences in organization, local employers and senior officers of urban police forces and fire brigades shared a commitment to discipline, obedience and urban order in the management of these visible and uniformed public workers.

Erik Swart, From "Landsknecht" to "Soldier": The Low German Foot Soldiers of the Low Countries in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century
In the decades after 1550 the soldiery of the Netherlands witnessed the disappearance of the Landsknecht, who had the right to participate in decision making and shape his daily life. He gradually became a mere "soldier", subject to stricter discipline and control. This development accelerated after 1572 because William of Orange needed to maintain the support of the inhabitants for the Revolt. Better discipline and control over his soldiers were imperative in this. Meanwhile, a progressive process of proletarianization left them largely unable to resist: they simply had nowhere else to go.

Frank Schubert, "Guerrillas Don't Die Easily". Everyday Life in Wartime and the Guerrilla Myth in the National Resistance Army in Uganda, 1981-1986
This article examines the civil war in central Uganda between guerrillas of the National Resistance Army and the government of Milton Obote between 1981 and 1986. Its central focus is the wartime experience of guerrilla fighters - men, women, and children. The material for the article has been collected through interviews with participants about their experiences. The interview partners described their motives and expectations as guerrillas as well as their perception of the reality of war "in the bush." Their narratives differ from the victorious guerrilla's official history of the war and the guerrilla myth cultivated in that history, as they lack the subsequent certainty of victory and emphasize the fighters' disappointments and suffering. In this way, the method of oral history provides important points of departure for a social history of this war and allows us, at the same time, to differentiate and correct our current understanding of it in significant ways.