The grant will allow Professor Connelly to study the lasting impact of the Imperial War Graves Commission though the lens of the ‘English imagination’ of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. It will argue that there were particular English concepts of time, place, landscape, travel and mortality which then created a dominant cultural idiom infusing the work of the architects and horticulturalists who oversaw the IWGC’s massive construction project.
He said: ‘The cemeteries and memorials designed and built by the Imperial War Graves Commission after the First World War have moved and amazed visitors over the last hundred years, and their architectural and horticultural beauty has received much praise and is the subject of many books.
‘However, the enigma of what make these commemorative sites such atmospheric, engaging and, even, uplifting places has not yet been satisfactorily explored or explained’.
Meanwhile Dr Hall’s research will examine British perceptions, representations, and uses of Nazism in the period before, during, and immediately after the regime was in power in Germany. He said: ‘This project will be the first to map out the origins of the British fascination – which shows no sign of abating – with stories of Nazi horror and of Britain’s fight against it’.
By considering what British contemporaries of the Third Reich understood Nazism to be, he will question; How that influenced policy? Whether it changed how the British saw themselves? And how it forged a fascination which has lasted into the present?
The schemes are incredibly competitive, and their dual successes demonstrates why Times Higher Education ranked Kent History No.1 for research.