Vera Britain born 1893 -1970 and Dame Shirley Williams her daughter HLB

Vera Britain 1893-1970

Who was Vera Britain? Writer Pacifist and Feminist aka “Testament of Youth”  ‘a hundred years of two remarkable women…

Vera Britain, mother of politician Dame Shirley Williams, founder member of the SDP, member of both houses of Parliament and a successful academic in her own right.

They were quite a family and a candid account is given on the BBC by Dame Shirley, about how the focus and seriousness of her mother reflected and impacted on their relationship as mother and daughter. She accounts for her seriousness being down to her experience of the impact of WWI and how the loss of four young men, including her brother, coloured her life and gave her close up experience of the true price of war.

Here is an Oxford First Word War Digital Poetry Archive, it is a great resource, click for the Vera Britain Entry  and also tells you more about the connections and resonance Vera Britain had with the War Poets including Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen.

The poetry of WWI provides a great insight into what it was like for the men and women who lived through that dreadful war, and it is no wonder that Vera became such a staunch pacifist.

Another interest snippet here is the number of great women thinkers whoa t some point in their life acted as nurses and often in times of war, this must have given them a deep insight into life in such extreme circumstances. Were any of your relatives nurses in a time of war?





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