‘The March of the Judeans’: The London Recruits of the Jewish Battalion in the First World War

  • Christopher Smith


This chapter examines the ways in which military service in the Jewish Battalion shaped notions of identity and patriotism for Jewish recruits from London’s East End. Drawing from veterans’ testimonials stored in the Beit Hagudim Museum in Avichail, Israel, Smith explores how the Jewish Battalion instilled a layered identity in many East End recruits, building a Jewish identity of pride in participation with a Jewish cause and a British identity shaped by service in the British Army. The chapter also assesses the role military service in the Jewish Battalion played in physically and psychologically incorporating the Jewish East End into Britain’s war effort, leading London’s Russian Jewish community to feel it had a meaningful stake in the outcome of the First World War.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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