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The FlyerBritish Culture and the Royal Air Force 1939–1945$
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Martin Francis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277483.001.0001

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Husbands and Fathers

Husbands and Fathers

(p.85) 4 Husbands and Fathers
The Flyer

Martin Francis

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on flyers as husbands and fathers. Despite belonging to a highly specialized service culture, the married flyer saw family life as a vital antidote to the dehumanising consequences of military discipline and the violence of combat. The fact that the RAF was predominantly based on British soil (and that some RAF wives lived adjacent to the bases on which their husbands were stationed) meant that the flyer had a unique opportunity to maintain a presence in the domestic realm. That said, the fact that home remained the place where many of the flyer's deepest emotional needs were met, can be said to be true of British men as a whole in the 1940s, in spite of the competing pressures of duty to one's comrades and one's country.

Keywords:   dehumanisation, emotional needs, family life, domestic realm, home

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