Portrait of Dr Juliette Pattinson

Dr Juliette Pattinson

Head of School


Dr Juliette Pattinson completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Lancaster, graduating in December 2004. She taught at the University of Wales, Bangor (2003-4) and the University of Strathclyde (2004-13) and also tutored with the Open University (2004-12), before arriving at Kent in 2013. She is a socio-cultural historian with particular interests in the Second World War. 

Research interests

Juliette's publications to date have been on cultural memory, oral history methodology, gender, and warfare in Western and Eastern Europe. 

Her research on the Special Operations Executive, a Second World War clandestine organisation that worked with the Resistance, resulted in a monograph with MUP entitled Behind Enemy Lines (2007) as well as a popular history book (Secret War, Caxton, 2001) and articles in public history magazines and newspapers. 

Juliette has also co-authored a book, Men in Reserve, on men in reserved occupations in the Second World War, the main output from a 2013/14 grant from the AHRC. She has co-edited three collections, on partisan and anti-partisan warfare across Eastern Europe; the cultural memory of the Second World War; and Britishness in the Second World War. She co-edited two journal special issues, on male POWs and on partisan warfare. 

Juliette is currently engaged in writing a monograph on the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry which stemmed from an ESRC-funded project. 


Dr Pattinson welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate students interested in projects on war, gender and oral history.


Juliette sits on the editorial board for Women's History Review and the Journal of War and Culture Studies, and has previously been the secretary of the Social History Society, a member of the steering committees for Women's History Network and Women's History Scotland and a member of the AHRC's Peer Review College. She has served on AHRC grant panels, co-edited a women's history magazine for a couple of years and ran oral history training day schools. She has organised 15 conferences, been invited to speak at both academic and public events, written for a general audience and has appeared on American, Australian, Indian and British radio and television.



  • Pattinson, J. (2016). ‘Shirkers’, ‘Scrimjacks’ and ‘Scrimshanks’?: British Civilian Masculinity and Reserved Occupations, 1914–45. Gender and History [Online] 28:709-727. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12246.
    In both World Wars, the state retained men with essential skills on the home front. Despite needing to mobilise industry and labour in order to supply the military and to maintain key services such as healthcare and food provision, those men who remained in civilian roles were susceptible to accusations of cowardice and being derided as shirkers evading their patriotic duty. While the manliness of the ‘soldier hero’ was secure, the civilian man was susceptible to having his masculinity called into question. This article utilises a range of sources including parliamentary debates, cartoons, Mass Observation records, written testimony and oral histories to examine the policies that were implemented affecting civilian male workers deployed in essential jobs in both wars and the perceptions of men to their reserved status. While there were haphazard attempts to raise an ‘industrial army’ in the First World War, by 1939, a more systematic approach had been implemented with a Schedule of Reserved Occupations drawn up retaining key men in their work. While men on the Second World War home front were potentially diminished by the ‘soldier hero’ and the female war worker, they defined and defended their contributions to the national war effort in written and oral sources in gendered terms, making reference to job security, valued skills, significant earning power, the auxiliary position of female dilutees, positive cultural representations and the added dangers from aerial bombing.
  • Pattinson, J., Noakes, L. and Ugolini, W. (2014). Incarcerated Masculinities: Male POWs and the Second World War. Journal of War and Culture Studies [Online] 7:179-190. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1752627214Z.00000000042.
    This article serves as an introduction to the themed issue on Incarcerated Masculinities, providing an overview of the literature in this field, including both scholarly texts and personal memoirs. The issue addresses a variety of POW experiences and memories, ranging geographically across incarceration in Europe and the Far East, considers the representation and cultural memory of POWs in the post-war period and engages with the intergenerational transmission of traumatic memories in subsequent decades. This article introduces the experience, impact and legacy of captivity amongst men from Australia, Britain and France during the Second World War which are explored in depth in subsequent articles.
  • Pattinson, J. (2011). "The Thing That Made Me Hesitate …": Re-examining Gendered Intersubjectivities in Interviews with British Secret War Veterans. Women’s History Review [Online] 20:245-263. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2011.556322.
    The composure of subjective identities in the oral history interview has been the subject of recent research, yet the extent to which gendered intersubjectivity is a dynamic process shaping the content and form of interviewees’ testimonies remains unclear. This article draws upon interviews with fifty?eight male and female veterans who belonged to the Special Operations Executive, a Second World War organisation that equipped the resistance. While gender is important, impacting upon the conversations and exposing itself through particular narrative forms, it can be easy to become too preoccupied with gender, which can mask other dynamics, such as social status and generation. Moreover, while intersubjectivity can impact upon the narratives composed, its effect on the content of the testimony may be marginal as stories of life experience can be more resilient.
  • Pattinson, J. (2010). ‘Passing Unnoticed in a French Crowd’: The Passing Performances of British SOE Agents in Occupied France. National Identities [Online] 12:291-308. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608944.2010.500469.
    This article examines the dissimulation, construction and assumption of national identities using as a case study male and female British agents who were infiltrated into Nazi-Occupied France during the Second World War. The British nationals recruited by the SOE's F section had, as a result of their upbringing, developed a French ‘habitus’ (linguistic skills, mannerisms and knowledge of customs) that enabled them to conceal their British paramilitary identities and ‘pass’ as French civilians. The article examines the diverse ways in which individuals attempted to construct French identities linguistically (through accent and use of vocabulary, slang and swear words), visually (through their physical appearance and clothing) and performatively (by behaving in particular ways).
  • Pattinson, J. and Shepherd, B. (2008). Partisan and Anti-Partisan Warfare in German-Occupied Europe, 1939-1945: Views from Above and Lessons for the Present. Journal of Strategic Studies [Online] 31:675-693. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/01402390802197803.
    This introductory article begins by sketching the general historical background of partisan and anti-partisan warfare in German-occupied Europe. It then briefly outlines the state of available primary sources, and the often heated, controversial character of the historiographical debates which are taking place within this area. It then considers, at some length, the lessons which the five articles presented, offer for the present-day conduct of counter-insurgency warfare – lessons relating to the effects of higher-level strategic perceptions; to the potential, then as now, for directing a policy of ‘disaggregation’ against insurgents; to the importance of situating counter-insurgency warfare within the context of wider policies which are receptive to the needs of the occupied population and its social and cultural characteristics; and to the necessity of fielding counter-insurgency forces which not only are well-resourced, but which also, in stark contrast to the anti-partisan formations which the Germans so often deployed, conduct themselves in ways that cultivate the population rather than alienate it.
  • Pattinson, J. (2006). “Playing the daft lassie with them”: Gender, captivity and the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. European Review of History [Online] 13:271-292. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13507480600785955.
    This article examines the gender-specific experiences of female prisoners, using SOE agents arrested by the Nazis during the Second World War as a case study, in order to contribute an understanding of the complex interaction of the identities of ‘woman’, ‘soldier’ and ‘prisoner’. Using oral history, as well as information gleaned from auto/biographies and SOE reports, it is argued that many female captives resorted to gender stereotypes by ‘playing the daft lassie’, that they experienced punishment with distinct sexist and sexual overtones and that gender was significant in their accounts of incarceration within concentration camps. Examining the gendered experiences of captivity casts light on the male chauvinistic nature of the Nazi regime, illuminating the SS and Gestapo response to being confronted with women who overstepped traditional gender boundaries by undertaking paramilitary roles.


  • Pattinson, J. (2020). Women of War: Gender, Modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. [Online]. Manchester University Press. Available at: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526145659/.
  • Pattinson, J., McIvor, A. and Robb, L. (2017). Men in Reserve: British Civilian Masculinities in the Second World War. [Online]. Manchester University Press. Available at: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526100696/.
    Men in reserve focuses on working class civilian men who, as a result of working in reserved occupations, were exempt from enlistment in the armed forces. It uses fifty six newly conducted oral history interviews as well as autobiographies, visual sources and existing archived interviews to explore how this group articulated their wartime experiences and how they positioned themselves in relation to the hegemonic discourse of military masculinity. It considers the range of masculine identities circulating amongst civilian male workers during the war and investigates the extent to which reserved workers draw upon these identities when recalling their wartime selves. It argues that the Second World War was capable of challenging civilian masculinities, positioning the civilian man below that of the 'soldier hero' while, simultaneously, reinforcing them by bolstering the capacity to provide and to earn high wages, frequently in risky and dangerous work, all which were key markers of masculinity.
  • Pattinson, J. (2007). Behind Enemy Lines: Gender, Passing and the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War. [Online]. Manchester University Press. Available at: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719085093/.
    Behind enemy lines is an examination of gender relations in wartime using the Special Operations Executive as a case study. Drawing on personal testimonies, in particular oral history and autobiography, as well as official records and film, it explores the extraordinary experiences of male and female agents who were recruited and trained by a British organisation and infiltrated into Nazi-Occupied France to encourage sabotage and subversion during the Second World War.

    With its original interpretation of a wealth of primary sources, it examines how these ordinary, law-abiding civilians were transformed into para-military secret agents, equipped with silent killing techniques and trained in unarmed combat. This fascinating, timely and engaging book is concerned with the ways in which the SOE veterans reconstruct their wartime experiences of recruitment, training, clandestine work and for some, their captivity, focusing specifically upon the significance of gender and their attempts to pass as French civilians.

    This examination of the agents of an officially-sponsored insurgent organisation makes a major contribution to British socio-cultural history, war studies and gender studies and will appeal to both the general reader, as well as to those in the academic community.
  • Pattinson, J. (2001). Secret War: A Pictorial Record of the Special Operations Executive. UK: Caxton.
    A perusal of the Obituaries in the broadsheet newspapers within the last few years will reveal that a number of people belonged to a secret wartime organisation called the Special Operations Executive. 'The Firm' or 'The Org', as it was also described, was not an ordinary War Office department. The public did not know it existed. It was a secret organisation whose purpose was only revealed long after VE Day.

    For many, the names Violette Szabo and Odette are synonymous with heroism. Their wartime experiences have been made into biographies and films but it was only recent television treatments that really highlighted this fascinating organisation. The SOE parachuted men and women into enemy-occupied countries to recruit, train and arm resistance groups in the fight against National Socialism.

    Historian Juliette Pattinson conveys the amazing story behind this organisation. Included within this collection are many rare photographs from the Imperial War Museum, featuring some of the agent,s weapons and gadgetry of those who operated in occupied France.

Book section

  • Pattinson, J. (2017). Fantasies of the “Soldier Hero”: frustrations of the Jedburghs. In: Pattinson, J. S. and Robb, L. eds. Men, Masculinities and Male Culture in the Second World War. London, UK: Palgrave. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95290-8_2.
  • Pattinson, J. and Robb, L. (2017). Becoming visible: gendering the study of men at war. In: Pattinson, J. S. and Robb, L. eds. Men, Masculinities and Male Culture in the Second World War. Palgrave. Available at: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781349952892.
  • Pattinson, J. (2016). The twilight war: wartime espionage, 1900-1950. In: Welland, J., Sharoni, S., Steiner, L. and Pedersen, J. eds. Handbook on Gender and War. Edward Elgar. Available at: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/handbook-on-gender-and-war.
  • Pattinson, J. and Ugolini, W. (2015). Negotiating Identities in Multinational Britain During the Second World War. In: Ugolini, W. and Pattinson, J. S. eds. Fighting for Britain? Negotiating Identities in Britain During the Second World War. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften.
  • Pattinson, J. (2014). A story that will thrill you and make you proud: The cultural memory of Britain’s secret war. In: Noakes, L. and Pattinson, J. S. eds. British Cultural Memory and the Second World War. Bloomsbury. Available at: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/british-cultural-memory-and-the-second-world-war-9781441160577/.
  • Pattinson, J. (2013). France. In: Cooke, P. and Shepherd, B. H. eds. European Resistance in the Second World War. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword Military.
  • Pattinson, J. and Noakes, L. (2013). Keep calm and carry on: The cultural memory of the Second World War in Britain. In: Pattinson, J. S. and Noakes, L. eds. The Cultural Memory of the Second World War in Britain. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Pattinson, J. (2012). “You didn’t think about being a woman at that time”: British secret agents during the Second World War. In: Women in War. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword Military.
  • Pattinson, J. and Shepherd, B. (2010). Illuminating a Twilight World. In: Pattinson, J. S. and Shepherd, B. eds. War in a Twilight World: Partisan and Anti-Partisan Warfare in Eastern Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Pattinson, J. (2008). "Turning a Pretty Girl Into a Killer": Women, Violence and Clandestine Operations During the Second World War. In: Throsby, K. and Alexander, F. eds. Gender and Interpersonal Violence: Language, Action and Representation. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 11-28.
  • Pattinson, J. (2004). “The Best Disguise”: Performing Femininities for Clandestine Purposes During the Second World War. In: Smith, A. K. ed. Gender and Warfare in the Twentieth Century: Textual Representations. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 132-153.

Edited book

  • Pattinson, J. and Robb, L. (2018). Men, Masculinities and Male Culture in the Second World War. [Online]. Robb, L. and Pattinson, J. eds. Palgrave Macmillan. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95290-8.
    This edited collection brings together cutting-edge research on British masculinities and male culture, considering the myriad ways British men experienced, understood and remembered their exploits during the Second World War, as active combatants, prisoners and as civilian workers. It examines male identities, roles and representations in the armed forces, with particular focus on the RAF, army, volunteers for dangerous duties and prisoners of war, and on the home front, with case studies of reserved occupations and Bletchley Park, and examines the ways such roles have been remembered in post-war years in memoirs, film and memorials. As such this analysis of previously underexplored male experiences makes a major contribution to the historiography of Britain in the Second World War, as well as to socio-cultural history, cultural studies and gender studies.
  • Pattinson, J. and Ugolini, W. (2015). Fighting for Britain? Negotiating Identities in Britain During the Second World War. [Online]. Vol. 7. Pattinson, J. S. and Ugolini, W. eds. Peter Lang. Available at: http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=83914.
    This edited collection focuses on the negotiation of national, geographic and cultural identities during the Second World War among the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Adopting a four nations approach, it contributes to our understanding of how pluralistic identities within the multinational state of Britain informed the functioning of Britishness during the conflict. In particular, it explores the ways in which Wales, Scotland and England related to the overarching concept of Britishness and analyses the relationships between Britain and the island of Ireland. This volume addresses wartime Britain as both a site of cultural contestation and of shared experience, exploring what "fighting for Britain" meant for those who served in the British armed forces as well as for those who did not fight in active combatant roles.
  • Pattinson, J. and Noakes, L. (2013). British Cultural Memory and the Second World War. [Online]. Bloomsbury. Available at: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/british-cultural-memory-and-the-second-world-war-9781441160577/.
    Few historical events have resonated as much in modern British culture as the Second World War. It has left a rich legacy in a range of media that continue to attract a wide audience: film, TV and radio, photography and the visual arts, journalism and propaganda, architecture, museums, music and literature. The enduring presence of the war in the public world is echoed in its ongoing centrality in many personal and family memories, with stories of the Second World War being recounted through the generations. This collection brings together recent historical work on the cultural memory of the war, examining its presence in family stories, in popular and material culture and in acts of commemoration in Britain between 1945 and the present.
  • Pattinson, J. and Shepherd, B. (2010). War in a Twilight World: Partisan and Anti-Partisan Warfare in Eastern Europe. [Online]. Pattinson, J. S. and Shepherd, B. eds. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9780230575691.
    Cutting-edge case studies examine the partisan and anti-partisan warfare which broke out across German-occupied eastern Europe during World War Two, showing how it was shaped in varied ways by factors including fighting power, political and economic structures, ideological and psychological influences, and the attitude of the wider population.

Edited journal

  • Pattinson, J.S., Noakes, L. and Ugolini, W. eds. (2014). Incarceration in the Second World War. Journal of War and Culture Studies [Online] 7. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ywac20/7/3.
  • Pattinson, J.S. and Shepherd, B. eds. (2008). Partisan and Anti-Partisan Warfare in German-Occupied Europe, 1939–1945. Journal of Strategic Studies [Online] 31. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fjss20/31/5.

Internet publication

  • Pattinson, J. (2018). They Also Serve: British Women and the Second World War [Internet Article]. Available at: http://www.warstateandsociety.com/Overview/Subject-Essays/Juliette-Pattinson.
    This essay gives you an introductory view of the topic of war and social change on the British Home Front by using the changing position of women as a case study. It serves as a guide to the subject, and to the resources available here through the Taylor and Francis digitization of a large number of National Archive files. It is designed to introduce you to just some of the wonderful source material on offer in this collection, including film and radio transcripts, reports and magazines produced by women's organizations, and official documents, to encourage you to explore the archive for yourselves. Hopefully this essay will help to guide your study using this rich collection.


  • Pattinson, J. (2019). Book Review: The WRNS in Wartime: The Women’s Royal Naval; Service 1917–45. International Journal of Maritime History [Online] 31:180-181. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0843871418821325l​.


  • Matthews, E. (2020). Space and Representations of Civilian Heroism in London During the Second World War.
    This thesis examines how, as the Second World War bought modern conflict into the domestic spaces of the nation, civilians were increasingly represented and constructed as heroic. While the effects and demands of war on the Home Front offered civilians increased opportunities to engage with traditional ideals of heroism, these ideals were also blurred as men and women of varying ages adopted new roles and responsibilities. Equally, as civilians fulfilled vital roles on the Home Front in production, protection and defence, different virtues and behaviours were celebrated and recognised as heroic. This thesis contributes to the current historiography of the Second World War by showing that the manufacture and production of Home Front heroism was multifaceted and complex. By tracing how Home Front heroism was framed, this thesis examines how constructions of heroism carried social and cultural meaning, and how popular representations of heroism influenced how behaviour was conceptualised.
    Through examining four interlinking themes; space, material culture, the body, and death, this study uses a range of methodological approaches to demonstrate that Home Front heroism was fashioned in various ways and for specific purposes. As familiar peacetime spaces became sites of conflict, the civilian population were offered opportunities to behave heroically, through fulfilling production demands, displaying bravery and endurance, protecting people and property, and caregiving. Moreover, objects elevated heroic status; as bodies were adorned and decorated with clothing and medals, the civilian body became a site where the potential for, or recognition of, heroism could be articulated. However, modern warfare also placed the civilian at increased risk of injury and death. Indeed, as civilians were injured and lost their lives as a consequence of enemy action they were increasingly aligned with the armed forces; the state particularly valourised civilians who were killed by bombardment. This thesis offers a detailed study of Home Front heroism to highlight that the heroic civilian was a powerful creation during wartime; heroic virtues permeated the public sphere and were particularly contingent to periods of stress and strain, as such, this research highlights that studying heroism provides insight into the virtues and values that a society, or group of individuals, considers noteworthy.
  • Mace, H. (2017). Emancipating Marianne: Gendering French Diplomacy and the Quai d’Orsay in European Context, 1944-1950.
    This study challenges the assertion that there existed few women in the Quai d'Orsay, with none in influential positions throughout the twentieth century. Unlike other European foreign ministries, French women were admitted to the diplomatic service throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and as early as 1928, were able to apply for diplomatic posts despite not gaining the vote until 1944. Albeit remaining legally subordinate to men until the Matrimonial Bill of 1965, this dissertation tells the story of the French female civil servant, who has hitherto been written out of academic writing and of popular memory on French diplomacy. Despite their slow transgression of numerous borders and overseas diplomatic ranks in the aftermath of the First World War, the Nazi occupation of France throughout the Second World War facilitated a gendered imbalance that precipitated women's demotion from previously-held positions to mere secretarial roles in Paris. An examination of the Annuaire Consulaire et Diplomatique, the official annual register of diplomatic staff, reveals that women were in fact admitted to overseas embassies and consulates on equitable terms with men until 1946. Drawing on a partial-prosopographical approach in examining French and British diplomatic archives and deposited oral history interviews, this thesis asserts that whilst Marianne, symbol of the Republic, was emancipated from the chains of wartime occupation in the late 1940s, the French female diplomat was not.
  • Wainman, R. (2017). The Faces of British Science: Narrating Lives in Science since c.1945.
    This thesis uses archived oral history interviews to trace the identities of scientists in narratives that capture their lived experiences of science. It draws upon fifty-four life history interviews with both men and women scientists from the British Library's 'An Oral History of British Science' (OHBS) archive. The OHBS was first established in 2009 to address the lack of comprehensive oral history archives devoted to documenting the personal experiences and memories of professionals involved in contemporary British science. In this thesis, however, the in-depth nature of these interviews are used to explore scientists' childhoods, careers and eventual retirement. This thesis therefore provides one of the first systematic attempts to draw together the personal accounts of professional scientists from a major public archive dedicated to science.

    In order to situate the study of scientists' lives, two fields of research are placed under scrutiny - oral history and history of science. In doing so, this thesis traces a longer tension between the 'history from below' approach of oral history and the 'great men' foundations of history of science when the two fields were still in their infancy. The different levels of emphasis that oral historians have placed on exploring issues such as trust, empathy and subjectivity have also been accompanied by a persistent scepticism found in history and associated studies in the sociology of science. Firstly, this thesis draws upon the democratic ethos of oral history in order to reconcile the trust and suspicion surrounding scientists' accounts of their lives. Secondly, the life history methodology of the OHBS interviews, which typically documents a whole person's life, draws attention to the importance of childhood and retirement for establishing scientists' identities as they sought to construct and reconstruct their lives in science. Lastly, it concludes with the implications of adopting an oral history approach to illuminate the contingent nature of scientists' identities.
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