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Wilfred Owen's VoicesLanguage and Community$
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Douglas Kerr

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198123705

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198123705.001.0001

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Morale and Breakdown

Morale and Breakdown

(p.183) 12 Morale and Breakdown
Wilfred Owen's Voices

Douglas Kerr

Oxford University Press

At the time of the First World War using the words ‘morale’ and ‘moral’ in the context of English military matters was viewed to be post-Napoleonic. Colonel W. Shirley had expressed how he thought that Napoleon's declaration had probably led to Napoleon's defeat and it is important to note that Colonel Shirley delivered a lecture entitled Moral: The Most Important Factor in War. This chapter points out that Colonel Shirley's principles served as the foundation for the environment that Owen faced during his training. Morale was perceived as the ‘soldierly spirit’ of the army. Morale proved to be of high importance especially since the army had to serve in relatively negative conditions and the officers were in charge of fostering the morale among the soldiers.

Keywords:   morale, moral, Colonel W. Shirley, Napoleon, soldierly spirit, officers

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