The Lady in White : British imperial loyalism and women’s volunteerism in Second World War Durban

Show simple item record Hyslop, Jonathan 2019-05-29T14:18:01Z 2018
dc.description.abstract Perla Siedle Gibson, known as ‘The Lady in White’, was an upper-class woman from Durban, who in the Second World War became famous for appearing in the city’s harbour and singing to the numerous British and South African soldiers and sailors who passed through. The article shows how Gibson’s activities illuminate several aspects of South Africa’s, and especially Natal’s, role in the war. The strategic situation in the period 1940–3 made South African ports crucial to the British campaigns in North Africa and East Asia. The article demonstrates that women’s volunteerism in Durban played a key part in sustaining military morale in this period, and thereby contributes to a gendered reading of the politics of the war. It also emphasises the specificity of Natal settler loyalism in framing the activities of Gibson and her co-workers: white Natalians had a particularly strong sense of connection to Britain, and an ambivalent relationship to the South African state. Finally, the article points out how racial tensions were building in this period, in ways which would lead to internal crisis in the country and international isolation by the 1960s. This would ultimately undermine the Natal-British identity for which Gibson stood. en_ZA
dc.description.department Sociology en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2019-10-27
dc.description.librarian hj2019 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Jonathan Hyslop (2018) The Lady in White: British Imperial Loyalism and Women’s Volunteerism in Second World War Durban, Journal of Natal and Zulu History, 32:1, 38-54, DOI: 10.1080/02590123.2018.1462045. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0259-0123 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2521-8875 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1080/02590123.2018.1462045
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Routledge en_ZA
dc.rights © 2018 Southern African Historical Society. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Natal and Zulu History, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 38-54, 2018. doi : 10.1080/02590123.2018.1462045, is available online at : en_ZA
dc.subject Lady in White en_ZA
dc.subject Durban en_ZA
dc.subject Second World War en_ZA
dc.subject Troopships en_ZA
dc.subject Britishness en_ZA
dc.subject Natal separatism en_ZA
dc.title The Lady in White : British imperial loyalism and women’s volunteerism in Second World War Durban en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA

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