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Article
Death and memory on the Home Front: Second World War commemoration in the South Hams, Devon
Cambridge Archaeological Journal (2010)
  • Samuel Walls, University of Exeter
  • Howard M. R. Williams, University of Chester
Abstract

In this article we explore a pair of distinctive and associated Second World War monuments on Slapton Sands in the South Hams district of Devon, UK. The Slapton Sands Evacuation Memorial was erected in 1945 by the US armed forces to commemorate the sacrifice of local people who evacuated their homes ahead of battle training in preparation for D-Day. Meanwhile, the Torcross Tank Memorial was built in 1984 under the initiative of a local man to commemorate those US servicemen who lost their lives during the battle training in the Exercise Tiger tragedy. The historical context, form, materiality, biography and location of each monument are appraised and their relationship with each other is discussed. The article argues that from the 1940s to the present day, the monuments have evolved as sacrificial sites and serve to both commemorate the events they describe and define the identities of local people through their reuse of places and material culture.

Keywords
  • Second World War,
  • memory,
  • Exercise Tiger,
  • Torcross,
  • Slapton Sands,
  • commemoration
Disciplines
Publication Date
2010
Citation Information
Samuel Walls and Howard M. R. Williams. "Death and memory on the Home Front: Second World War commemoration in the South Hams, Devon" Cambridge Archaeological Journal Vol. 20 Iss. 1 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/howard_williams/48/