Hot on the heels of completing a rough draft of my thesis chapter dealing with photographic archives (you know, Derrida, replication, false memories), I’ve been delving into the The National Archives online. I love the look of the poster to the right, on which the BBC did a little story last week.
Apparently teenage girls would bunk off school and hang out with American GIs, who offered them money and entertainment and lots of sex during the “general excitement and unsettled conditions” of wartime London.
According to the BBC article, a letter was sent by the Home Office to the police stating that "these American soldiers passed the girls on to their friends and in a very short time, any one girl could be responsible for infecting a considerable number of people."
So obviously the soldiers had nothing whatsoever to do with the spread of VD--it was the "feckless" schoolgirls! A total of 37 where arrested for it over a 12 month period.
Ah, love and war…
The National Archives also has selection of their public information films available for viewing online.
I especially like Children and Disused Fridges from 1971. Though Rabies Advice is a bizarre one too, given the UK has been rabies-free for years and years. Oh wait, that's probably a direct result of this film!