A war can never be said
to be completely over until there is nobody left who took part in it. That time must be coming soon: the Great War took place
in the last century, and almost all of those who experienced its horrors first hand in are now dead. One in five of
those who fought died during the war itself. The rest have gradually followed their comrades, until now there can't be
more than a tiny number of very old men who experienced the horrors of the trenches.
is a web site dedicated to the history and battlefields of the Great War 1914-1918. It aims to provide you with information
about the war itself and on how to visit the battlefields in France & Flanders, and Gallipoli - and what to see....
The events of World War II have shaped the world as we know
it today. The war officially started in 1939 and ended in late 1945. With over 60 million total fatalities, and
over 50 nations taking part, it is the single most catastrophic experience in the history of mankind. Many of
the causes of World War II can be traced back to World War I.
of the Somme" is a web resource developed by Leo Robert Klein in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Masters
Degree at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. His academic adviser was Frank Migliorelli. The purpose of "Battle of the Somme" is to serve as a resource of information on the battle
which took place between July 1st, 1916 and November 13th, 1916 and resulted in over a million casualties.
British campaign medals or service medals are very collectible
and most of us will be familiar with the British War Medal and Victory Medal from the Great War. Less well known perhaps are
the 'Stars', ie the 1914 or 'Mons' Star and the 1914-1915 Star.
As with all service medals, the
Stars were issued to participants in the relevant campaigns and for, for obvious reasons, fewer of these medals were awarded
when compared to the War and Victory medals. Having said that, they appear comparatively frequently on the market for sale
and sometimes with the recipient's other service medals, the full set of Mons Star, War and Victory Medals being affectionately
known as 'Pip, Squeak and Wilfred'.
The 1914 or Mons Star was incepted in 1917 for issue to all officers
and other ranks who served in France and/or Belgium between 5th August 1914 and midnight on 22nd November 1914, ie the start
of the war and the final day of the 1st Battle of Ypres. The other main battles in this year were, of course, Mons (after
which battle the medal became known) and Le Cateau.
Most of the 365,622 were issued to the original members of
the British Expeditionary Force who sailed for France at the start of the war. These servicemen later became known as the
The medal itself is an instantly recognisable bronze star with four points and a crown
on the upper arm of the star. There are also crossed swords circled with a wreath of oak leaves. The Royal Cypher of King
George V appears on the lower arm of the Star and in the middle sits a scroll inscribed 'AUG 1914 NOV'. The back of
the medal will have the recipient's name, rank, serial number and unit engraved but you may often find that this has been
worn away in medals often worn with pride.
This period of the Great War is often overlooked in our struggle to
comprehend trench warfare. However, it included the only 'encounter' battles of the War, at least until late 1918.
Defeat would have had catastrophic consequences for the BEF and, although short, the battle at Le Cateau was particularly
intense and critical to delay the German advance during the British retreat from Mons. Thereafter the First Battle of Ypres
saw the lines drawn for the ensuing years of trench warfare.
The 1914-15 Star was approved in 1918 for issue to
all officers and other ranks who served in a 'theatre of war' between 5th August 1914 and 31st December 1915. Those
in receipt of the Mons Star were not entitled to receive the 1914-15 star as well. 2,366,000 were awarded to participants
in, amongst others, the Second Battle of Ypres, Aubers Ridge and Loos. Unlike the Mons Star, it was also awarded to the Royal
The medal is almost similar in appearance to the Mons Star although the scroll across the middle is engraved
'1914-15'. It will also be inscribed on the reverse with the recipient's name, rank and serial number. The ribbon
for both medals is also identical, being vertical red, white and blue stripes.
The casualties suffered in the First World War were of a
scale never before experienced. Great Britain and her Empire lost over 1,000,000 combatants; France, 1,300,000; Russia, 1,700,000;
Germany and its allies, 3,500,000. Losses in life per day of the war exceeded 5,500. Although each soldier would have been
involved in some form of continual conflict whilst serving on the front-line (e.g. trench raids, snipers, shelling), it is
possible to distinguish major battles (or pushes) whose names have gone down in history as some of the bloodiest conflicts
ever waged. Below are details on five of the main battles involving British troops and their allies
last known surviving British veteran of the World War I trenches is celebrating his 109th birthday. Harry Patch from Wells, in Somerset, will have lunch with friends and family before returning to his residential
home for a party. Mr Patch served with the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry and saw
action in the bloody Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. "There's no secret to enjoying
a long life, just live a clean life," he said. Mr Patch was called up for service
when he was working as an 18-year-old apprentice plumber in Bath. Shortly afterwards he
fought at Passchendaele, where more than 70,000 soldiers died in three months. Heavy rain
coincided with the opening assault producing thick, clinging mud. Sharing his experience
of the battle, Mr Patch said: "It was mud, mud and more mud mixed together with blood." During the fighting Mr Patch was badly wounded and three of his best friends were killed when a shell exploded nearby.
"My remembrance day is on 22 September when I lost three mates," he said.
He served in the trenches as a private from June to September
1917. Born on 17 June 1898, Mr Patch grew up in Coombe Down, near Bath, and
left school at the age of 15 to train as a plumber. He was 16 when war broke
out and reached 18 as conscription was being introduced and after six months training he was sent to the frontline. He was
the number two in the Lewis gun team and his role was to carry and assemble the spare parts for the machine gun and ensure
it worked. The five gunners made a pact not to kill an enemy soldier if they could help it but they would instead aim for
the legs. On 22 September 1917 a shell attack exploded above Mr Patch's head killing three of his comrades. Mr Patch was
hit by shrapnel in the lower abdomen but survived. During his recovery in Britain, he met his first wife, Ada, in 1918. They
were married for almost 60 years and had two sons, Dennis and Roy, both of whom Harry has outlived. Too old to fight in the
Second World War Mr Patch became a maintenance manager at a US army camp in Somerset and joined the Auxiliary Fire Service
in Bath. After the war he went back to plumbing and retired in 1963. Following
Ada's death in 1976, at 81 Mr Patch married his second wife, Jean, who died five years ago. His third partner Doris, who
lived in the same retirement home, died last year. It was only on his 100th birthday that Mr Patch first came to the spotlight
as one of the last veterans of the First World War, when for the first time reporters and television crews visited his care
home in Wells, Somerset. His autobiography, The Last Fighting Tommy, written with Richard van Emden, was published in 2007.
As well as launching poppy appeals, he became an agony uncle columnist
for lads magazine FHM, had his portrait painted by artist and former England wicket keeper, Jack Russell, and had a special
edition cider named after him. In 1999 Mr Patch received the Legion D'Honneur medal awarded by the French government to
350 surviving First World War veterans who fought on the Western Front, dedicating it to his three fallen comrades. At the
age of 105 Mr Patch re-visited the Ypres battle field and in 2004 he returned for a BBC series to meet a German veteran Charles
Kuentz. He also visited the British and German cemeteries, placing a wreath of poppies on one of the German graves. In February
this year Poet Laureate Andrew Motion was commissioned to write a poem in Mr Patch's honour, entitled "The Five Acts
of Harry Patch". In September 2008 he made his last trip to Langemark
for the unveiling of a memorial. Mr Patch believes "war is organised murder" and said: "It was not worth it,
it was not worth one let alone all the millions. "It's important that we remember the war dead on both sides of the
line - the Germans suffered the same as we did."
This cultural impact of
the war is the aspect most obviously still with us. Poets, writers and other people capable of expressing their experiences
have left a body of passionate, dark and stirring work which has dominated our popular memory. For most in the West, The First
War One conjures up images of muddy trenches, thousands of young men walking into machine gun fire and the sense of wasted
youth. Despite the efforts of a small group of historians to argue otherwise, World War One is seen as a waste. The physical
injuries suffered by soldiers from gas and shell fed the imaginations of the 1920's and 30's cinematic horror boom;
there are relatively few films about The Great War, but plenty fed by its consequences.
The First World War can
be an immensely depressing subject, especially when explained by writers who argue it ended in a manner which made World War
Two inevitable. But historians and students should never forget a view available in the letters and documents of the men who
fought, proud men who believed strongly in the cause and did not regard their efforts as a waste. This is not to say readers
should seek out a history which comforts them, rather than convincing them, but they should strive for an accurate picture:
the sum total of all World War One casualties was less than those suffered by Russia alone during the Second World War, yet
it is the first war we in the West always remember as most horrific.
We are enthusiasts of World
War I era aeroplanes. Of any scale. If you would rather watch a World War I aeroplane fly straight and level than a Pitts
do a complete aerobatic routine, then you are one of us. If a plane looks naked to you because it doesn't have guns, then
you've come to the right place. If you hold services at the flying field every April 21st, then we're your group
These images were all created using CAD (computer aided Design) software.
CAD allows you to create a 3D model in the computer that can be manipulated in a wide variety of ways
and then output renderings. This software is primarily intended for use by engineers and designers but it can also be a powerful
illustration tool. It takes a lot of effort to generate the model, but once it's done you can do just about anything you
Welcome to the Flying Machines
web site. Before the Wright Brothers achieved the first successful heavier-than-air controlled flight on December 17, 1903,
hundreds of women and men attempted to fly, in airships, gliders and aeroplanes, and many did go aloft in gas and hot-air
balloons. This site documents a number of those pre-Wright attempts at heavier-than-air flight, as well as significant events
and thoughts which contributed to the ultimate success of powered, heavier-than-air human flight.
Manfred von Richthofen was born on May 2, 1892 in Breslau, Germany. He died
on April 21, 1918 in the skies over Vaux sur Somme in France. He was 25
years old. He was called der rote Kampfflieger by his own people, le petit rouge by the
French, and the The Red Baron by the English. In a time of
wooded and fabric aircraft, when twenty air victories insured a pilot legendary status
and coveted Pour Le Merites, Richthofen had eighty victories,
and is regarded to this day as the ace of aces.
In Flanders fields the poppies
blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing,
fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you
from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall
not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields By John McCrae 1915
Perhaps it will surprise
you to learn that the soldiers in both lines of trenches have become very 'pally' with each other. The trenches are
only 60 yards apart at one place, and every morning about breakfast time one of the soldiers sticks a board in the air. As
soon as this board goes up all firing ceases, and men from either side draw their water and rations. All through the breakfast
hour, and so long as this board is up, silence reigns supreme, but whenever the board comes down the first unlucky devil who
shows even so much as a hand gets a bullet through it.
From the realization of
powered flight by an obscure Bavarian emigrant to the weapons of aerial destruction used by Richthofen's flying circus,
this project attempts to archive vintage photographs of flying machines flown before and during the first two decades of the
20th century. The collection currently contains 3775 downloadable images : 22.01.08
Welcome to FokkerDr1.com
were I have developed this site to research and identify all 320 Fokker Dr.I planes built during WW1. This site contains Fokker
Dr.I photos, data and specifications, books and artwork along with WW1 aviation links. This site is intended for the sole
purpose of my personal research only. 83 Dr.I's Identified out of 320 "It climbed like a monkey and maneuvered like
the devil" Manfred Von Richthofen.
Canadians get a lift on
a British Mark IV. They wont get where they're going fast - this tank's top speed was 4 mph.
The purpose of this website
is to provide an overview of the First World War. Necessarily a long-term undertaking - and approaching seven years into
the process - much remains to be covered. Whole aspects of the conflict are light on material at present - rest assured,
this is not deliberate: in time it should all find its place on the site. A word of caution however; this is by no means a
professional website. It's authored as spare time permits and is intended at a general rather than academic readership.
Wars are primarily about
fighting and killing, but it would be a great oversimplification to state that that is all they are about. Quarrels between
nations and groups of people do indeed produce misery and suffering for all those willingly or unwillingly involved, but thankfully
there is much more to study and learn about the great conflicts of our time than merely the violence and destruction they
History books record that
World War I started when the nations went to war to avenge the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to
the Habsburg throne, on June 28, 1914. This is the typical explanation. But the "revisionist historian" knows just
what caused and what the purpose was of the conflagration of World War I. Up until America's entry into this war,
the American people had followed the wise advice of President George Washington given in his farewell address, delivered to
the nation on September 17, 1796. President Washington said: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance
with any portion of the foreign world.... Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace
and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humour or caprice?' President Washington attempted
to warn the American people about getting embroiled in the affairs of Europe. But in 1914, it was not to be. There were those
who were secretly planning America's involvement in World War I whether the American people wanted it or not.
This site has been developed
and maintained to honour the memory of those who sacrificed. May their efforts never be forgotten. John Stephens.
World War 1, also known
as the First World War or the the Great War, the War of the Nations and the War to End All Wars, was a world conflict lasting
from 1914 to 1919, with the fighting lasting until 1918. The war was fought by the Allies on one side, and the Central Powers
on the other. No previous conflict had mobilized so many soldiers or involved so many in the field of battle. By its end,
the war had become the second bloodiest conflict in recorded history.
The home Guard was formed
in July 1994 to research the history of the Home Guard, to portray the real 'Dad's Army' and to 're-educate'
the public. To these men who gave up their spare time and, sometimes, their lives, the Home Guard was not a comedy.
The United States Military
Academy formed the Department of History on June 15, 1969. Prior to its formation, several separate departments had offered
instruction in military history and what was sometimes called political or modern history. In 1818 the Superintendent of the
Military Academy, Sylvanus Thayer, provided for the appointment of a Professor for Ethics, History and Geography, and thereby
established a new department, even though instruction in these areas was previously provided. The new department focused upon
the field of international law, and instruction in geography and modern history did not receive strong emphasis until 1883.
This archive of primary
documents from World War I has been assembled by volunteers of the World War I Military History List (WWI-L). The archive
is international in focus and intends to present in one location primary documents concerning the Great War.
Western Front Association was formed with the aim of furthering interest in the period 1914-1918, to perpetuate the memory,
courage and comradeship of all those who served their countries in France and Flanders and their own countries during The
Great War. It does not seek to justify or glorify war. It is not a re-enactment society, nor is it commercially motivated.
It is entirely non-political. The object of The Association is to educate the public in the history of The Great War with
particular reference to the Western Front. Applications for membership are welcomed from anyone with a like mind.
"This is an unfortunate
region, and consist entirely of mud, a form of matter which has, however, been unfairly despised. I am prepared to take my
oath that mud is warm and a friend to man. Mud is affectionate and clinging; mud has no pride; mud is soft to fall on; mud
is not unpleasant to the taste, and does not greatly interfere with the hearing; and, finally, mud is warm."
Warning: these songs have
not been bowdlerised, i.e. the strong language as used by the soldiers for some of the songs has been retained. If you are
offended by such language, it is suggested that you read no further. This particular page has been been rated and tagged appropriately
using PICS according to the RSACi guidelines.
the largest database of Armed Forces and Ex-Forces Personnel on the web with 317942 members.
This website is a re-design
of the original website created for the airing of the eight-part series on PBS in 1996. The new site features an expanded
map and battle section, dramatized audio recordings of letters and poems written by combatants and non-combatants in the war,
as well as streaming video of archival footage taken during World War I.
The Great War ushered in
the 20thCentury. It was "The War To End All Wars,"- a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest
century in human history. Yet, it was more than just a war between nations. It was a war between what was and what was to
be. The "old world" was dying, and the new world had yet to be born. People of all classes and nations saw it as
some great cleansing fire that would accelerate this battle and lead to a better world. But, when it was over, more than men
had died in the mud of the battlefields. The naive dreams of progress, along with the innocence of the pre-war world, faith
in God, and hope in the future all died in the trenches of Europe.
The word Gurkha is derived from the valley of Gorkha in West
Nepal. Gurkha is more loosely used as the generic term for the indigenous population of the middle hills of east and west
Nepal. Gurkhas have provided service to the Crown since 1815. On the conclusion of the Anglo-Nepali War (1812 815), the
British East India Company, impressed by the extraordinary bravery and fighting qualities of the Gurkhas, raised the first
Gurkha regiments. When India became independent in 1947, four Gurkha regiments transferred into the British Army but remained
based in the Far East. The Brigade conducted itself with distinction. The Brigade, which at its peak, formed ten regiments
of Gurkhas, participated in every major conflict fought by the Indian Army including the North West Frontier, and the First
and Second World Wars. At the partition of India in 1948, four regiments 2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles - moved across
to the British Army whilst the remainder continued to serve with the Indian Army. During the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the
Sirmoor Rifles (later the 2nd Goorkhas) served with great distinction alongside the 60th Rifles (later the Royal Green Jackets).
So impressed were the 60th Rifles that following the mutiny they insisted Gurkhas be awarded the honours of adopting their
distinctive rifle green uniforms with scarlet edgings and rifle regiment traditions and that they should hold the title of
riflemen rather than sepoys. At the same time, and as a mark of respect, Gurkha riflemen were invited to share the same
canteens as British soldiers, Indian sepoys were excluded from this privilege.
Your ringside seat to history
- from the Ancient World to the present. History through the eyes of those who lived it, presented by Ibis Communications,
Inc. a digital publisher of educational programming.
Gurkha recruiting takes place once a year in Nepal. The British
Army maintains a skeleton recruiting structure based on the British Gurkha Camp at Pokhara, in the West of Nepal. In a process
that begins in September each year, local recruiters, known as Galla Wallahs, recruit a specified number of young men from
their respective areas in the hills of both west and east Nepal. The pool of young hopefuls is further reduced at a second
stage in the process. Here, senior retired Gurkha officers select a final tranche of potential recruits at a number of hill
selection sites. These individuals then move down to Pokhara where a stringent and demanding final selection process is conducted
by British and Gurkha officers. Once selected, the lucky few are flown to the UK to start recruit training and a career in
the Brigade of Gurkhas. The number of Gurkhas recruited depends on the Brigades annual manning needs. The figure is currently
around 230. Last year there were 28,000 applicants for 230 places.
Modern battlefields are littered with debris, which the avid collector
of Militaria may find tempting to take home for the sake of posterity. But beware! Many of the unexploded battlefield munitions
remain highly dangerous and a number of fatalities happen each year.
My own particular interest is in the Great War, or World War One. I have spent
many a holiday on the battlefields of the Western Front, trench map in hand, following the line of advance during the Battle
of the Somme. The fields are simply littered with unexploded shells and other debris, such as bullets, barbed wire, shrapnel
balls and grenades.
year, when the local farmers plough the fields, more unexploded munitions come to the surface. They are simply collected together
by the farmer and placed in the corner of each field. In the run up to the first day of the battle on 1st July 1916 the British
artillery fired 3 million shells at the German lines and one third of those shells, an astonishing 1 million of them, were
dud and failed to explode. They simply buried themselves in the mud. But they remain dangerous and are still taking lives
Only last year
two members of the Somme Bomb Squad were killed when a shell detonated when it was being cleared from the battlefield. A retired
British Army Officer, and Militaria collector, was killed recently when a hand grenade blew up in his face. He had brought
the grenade home from the Western Front in his luggage and, sadly, the central heating in his home had dried out the explosive
charge causing it to detonate spontaneously.
The risks are very real and I would strongly advise any collectors, on the Western Front and elsewhere, to leave
any unexploded ordnance well alone. Anything containing an explosive charge that has not been decommissioned remains highly
dangerous, however old it may be!
The same warning applies if you find unexploded shells being sold, either locally to the battlefield or on the Internet.
I know that some local people on the Somme have extensive collections of munitions and some sell them to tourists. Do not
buy them! Similarly, if you see them for sale on the Internet, check with the seller to ascertain whether the item has been
made safe. If it has not, do not buy it and perhaps email him and tell him it is dangerous.
But it is not only munitions that come to light on the
Western Front each year. On the Somme alone over 75,000 British soldiers remain missing and unaccounted for. They are commemorated
on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing but, occasionally, some are found even now. Whenever this happens every effort is
made to identify them and sometimes it is possible to locate relatives. A full military funeral is then accorded the fallen
Harry Patch, the last British army veteran of World War I, has
died at 111, the nursing home where he lived said Saturday. The Fletcher House care home in Wells, southwest England,
said Patch died early Saturday. "He just quietly slipped away at 9 a.m. this morning," said care home manager Andrew
Larpent. "It was how he would have wanted it, without having to be moved to hospitals but here, peacefully with his friends
and carers." Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the whole country would mourn "the passing of a great man." "The
noblest of all the generations has left us, but they will never be forgotten. We say today with still greater force, We Will
Remember Them," Brown said. Prince Charles said "nothing could give me greater pride" than paying tribute to
Patch. "The Great War is a chapter in our history we must never forget, so many sacrifices were made, so many young lives
lost," he said.
Patch had been the last surviving soldier from the British army to have served in the 1914-1918
war. The only other surviving U.K.-based British veteran of the war, former airman Henry Allingham, died a week ago at age
113. The Ministry of Defense called Patch "the last British survivor of the First World War," although 108-year-old
Claude Choules of Australia is believed to have served in the Royal Navy during the conflict. Born in southwest England in
1898, Patch was called up for military service in 1916 when he was working as a teenage apprentice plumber. After training
he was sent to the trenches as a machine-gunner in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. A few weeks later, in one of
the bloodiest battles of the war at Passchendaele, near the Belgian town of Ypres, he was badly wounded and three of his best
friends were killed by a shell explosion.
Back at home, he returned to work as a plumber, got married, raised a
family and didn't start talking about his war experiences until the 21st century. He outlived three wives and both of
his sons. Patch was one of the last living links to "the war to end all wars," which killed about 20 million people
in years of brutal fighting between the Allied Powers — including Britain, France, and the United States — and
Germany and its allies. Only a handful of veterans remain of the estimated 68 million mobilized. There are no French veterans
left alive; the last living American-born veteran is Frank Woodruff Buckles of Charles Town, West Virginia. The man believed
to have been Germany's last surviving soldier has also died. In recent years he and his dwindling band of fellow survivors
became poignant symbols of the conflict.
Last year he, Allingham and British naval veteran Bill Stone attended
remembrance ceremonies in London to mark the 90th anniversary of the war's end at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the
11th month in 1918. The three frail men in wheelchairs laid wreaths of red poppies at the base of the stone memorial. Stone
died in January. At a remembrance ceremony in 2007, Patch said he felt "humbled that I should be representing an
"Today is not for me. It is for the countless millions who did not come home with
their lives intact. They are the heroes," he said. "It is also important we remember those who lost their lives
on both sides." Patch said he did not speak about the war for 80 years. But he came to believe the casualties were not
justified. "I met someone from the German side and we both shared the same opinion: we fought, we finished and we were
friends," he said in 2007. "It wasn't worth it."
Grandson to Grandma Was Granddad ever a soldier? I mean a soldier in the war. I know he's got some medals But what's he got them for? When
Granddad was a soldier Did he have a gun? Did he march up and down
shooting folk? I bet that was lots of fun. Grandma to Grandson Yes Granddad was a soldier And he went off to fight To
fight for King and Country And for us and what was right I've
seen Granddad clean his medals And wrap them nice and neat He put
them in his suitcase And marches down the street Yes to Dunkirk they
To march with pride and medals show Their fallen
comrades to recall Terrible price paid by them all. So when you see Granddad with his medals on his chest Take his hand and say - I am proud of you, and the rest For it was men like him and those that fell That saved
us from a world of hell. Frederick (Dusty) Rhodes
On 18 July 2009 Allingham died of natural causes aged 113 years
and 42 days. At the time of his death, he was the 14th oldest verified man of all time.
Henry Allingham remembers the Somme
Henry William Allingham (born 6 June 1896) is,
at age 112, a supercentenarian World War I veteran and Britain's oldest living man. He is the oldest ever surviving
member of any British Armed Forces and the oldest surviving veteran of the First World War. Allingham is the oldest ever
English man and the second-oldest ever British man after Welshman John Evans. On 13 February 2007, he became the UK's
second-oldest living person—he also holds the record for being Europe's fifth-oldest living person and the oldest
male. He is the joint second-oldest living man in the world, and is the oldest living white male. As of April 2008, he is
validated as one of the 25 oldest people in the world, tied with American man George Francis, and, as of October 2008, he
ranks among the 20 oldest men ever and the 20 oldest Britons ever.
He is the last survivor of the Battle
of Jutland, the last surviving member of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the last surviving founding member of the
Royal Air Force (RAF). Since 2001, he has become the face of the World War I veterans association and makes frequent public
appearances to ensure that the horrors of World War I are not lost to modern generations. Due to his longevity and his World
War I service he is also the recipient of many honours and awards
World War I and the resulting
peace treaties (Versailles, Treaty of; Saint-Germain, Treaty of; Trianon, Treaty of; Neuilly, Treaty of; Sèvres) radically
changed the face of Europe and precipitated political, social, and economic changes. By the Treaty of Versailles Germany was
forced to acknowledge guilt for the war. Later, prompted by the Bolshevik publication of the secret diplomacy of the czarist
Russian government, the warring powers gradually released their own state papers, and the long historical debate on war guilt
began. It has with some justice been claimed that the conditions of the peace treaties were partially responsible for World
War II. Yet when World War I ended, the immense suffering it had caused gave rise to a general revulsion to any kind of war,
and a large part of mankind placed its hopes in the newly created League of Nations.
The Heritage of the Great
War has articles mainly in English; some are in Dutch (Flemish) only. We also show the literary war (poetry & prose),
political cartoons and many photo slide shows.
primarily as an extension of pocket watches at the turn of the last century. Many models were ladies watches, but they ultimately
evolved into popular and functional objects during World War I. The acceptance of "wristlets" during "the
war to end all wars" marked a major turning point in the evolution of watches as we know them today. There are
many stories about the first wristwatch. Breguet has recorded in its ledgers a pocket watch sold to the Queen of Naples in
1810, that basically was a ladies small pocket watch on a metal chain. There also are anecdotal reports of individuals in
the mid-19th century wearing pocket watches other than in their pockets: on canes, rings or even attached to a bracelet.
Girard-Perregaux by 1880 supplied wristwatches to the German Imperial Navy. Reportedly, an artillery officer complained
that it was inconvenient for him to be operating a pocket watch an act requiring two hands while timing a bombardment. He
strapped a pocket watch to his wrist and reported his solution to his superiors. They liked the idea so much that watchmakers
in La Chaux-de-Fonds were asked to travel to Berlin to discuss series production of small gold watches attached to wrist bracelets.
Drawings of the early Girard-Perregaux wristlets
Numerous veterans associations
were formed in the years following the Great 1914-1918 War but surprisingly none existed for the Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16
until 1969, when on the initiative of Major Edgar Banner, a number of veterans established an informal group, meeting from
time to time to exchange shared memories and if possible to recall not only their own experiences but also those of the units
in which they served. Very soon they had started their own Association Journal,The Gallipolian, initially cyclostyled but,
as membership increased, a properly printed magazine, now published several times a year, in which articles of high historical,
academic and literary merit appeared. Edited by David Saunders, MBE, it is regarded as exemplary in its class.
On August 4th, 1914, six
brigages detached from the Second German Army - The Army of the Meuse - began the first move in the execution of the Schlieffen/Moltke
Plan - to smash quickly through the defenses of Liège, Belgium.
The history of World War
One aviation is a rich and varied story. It was marked by a period of very rapid technological development, where aircraft
evolved from their humble beginnings as slow moving, fragile, powered kites, into quick, agile, sturdy, fighter craft.
The Great War consumed the world in a conflict that was unrivaled until that time. It was a kind of war far different
than the one that was waged on the ground. The fight for control of the air was where the cunning, and bravery of the individual
could matter for much. This website is my tribute to those fragile aircraft and to the brave pilots on both sides that flew
Through distant mists of
memories, I hear them call my name; Those who served beside me, On a battleground of pain. Nothing
left but memories, Of those forever young; Lives that ended suddenly, What would they have become? What
price they paid for freedom, The sacrifice untold; Yet, here they are in memories, Not one will 'ere
grow old. For I shall keep their names alive, Until my flame is gone; Then pass the torch to those who will,
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer
Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 24 January 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his
leadership of Great Britain during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again
from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a prolific
author and a talented artist. During his army career Churchill saw combat on the Northwest Frontier, in the Sudan and
during the Second Boer War, during which he also gained fame and notoriety, as a war correspondent. He also served in the
British Army on the Western Front and commanded the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. At the forefront of the political
scene for almost sixty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President
of the Board of Trade and Home Secretary during the Liberal governments. In the First World War he served as First Lord of
the Admiralty, Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air and during the interwar years,
he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. After the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was appointed First
Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, he became Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom and led Britain to victory against the Axis powers. His speeches were a great inspiration to the embattled Allied
forces. After losing the 1945 election, he became the leader of the opposition. In 1951, he again became Prime Minister before
finally retiring in 1955. Upon his death the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest
assemblies of statesmen in the world.
was supposed to be "The War to End All Wars." For over four years World War
One raged on, leaving in its wake a toll of death and destruction such as the world had
never seen. These are the images of that time, an eternal testament to all those whose lives were lost or forever altered by "The Great War."
The gas mask as we know
it today evolved from inventions over time that were intended for use by deep sea divers, firefighters and mine workers. A
popular misconception about the gas mask was that it was invented by Garrett A. Morgan in 1914. Morgan’s invention didn’t
resemble anything remotely like today’s mask and was simply a hood with a breathing tube that hung to the floor so a
firefighter could draw breath from the lower, cleaner layers of air while fighting a fire. It was later adapted for mine rescues
where the tubes could be manipulated to avoid flooded mine tunnels or gas filled pockets. The question of who invented the
gas mask is to this day not easily answered.
started the mass production of modern gas masks designed to protect soldiers from chemical attack. Without WW1 and the use
of chlorine and mustard gas as a weapon by the German Army, gas masks would have not have taken up such a prominent place
in the history of the world.
"The Great War was
without precedent ... never had so many nations taken up arms at a single time. Never had the battlefield been so vast never
had the fighting been so gruesome..."
The site features a collection
of war-themed postal cards produced during World War 1 (1914 - 1919). More than 2,500 cards will eventually be displayed
in an organized fashion. The cards are mementos of a world at war during the second decade of the 20th century.
This website aims to provide
an overview of the battlefields on The Western Front, the sites of educational interest, tourist information and accommodation
for the visitor today. The Ypres Salient and The Somme are the two main areas covered at present with more battle sites to
War-Letters.com is a website
intended for historical research and therefore all letters, envelopes and attachments appear in a raw and unedited state.
Although some of the content was subject to war-time censors, readers should be aware that due to the nature of war and personal
lives, some pages contain adverse personal opinions, vulgar language, material related to nazism, racism, exotic sexual relations
and many forms of severe violence and death. If you are likely to be offended, we strongly suggested you try some other moderated
content on the web.
Wilfred Gibson (1878-1962)
"Back" They ask me where I've been, And what I've done and seen. But what can I
reply Who know it wasn't I, But someone just like me, Who went across the sea And with my head
and hands Killed men in foreign lands... Though I must bear the blame, Because he bore my name.
World Wide Militaria experts
represent more than 100 years of collecting experience to provide you with the finest military collectibles available. As
a militaira dealer, we sell items from around the world, with a special interest in U.S., British, German, French, Russian
and United Nations militaria. Our military orders, medals and decorations are of the highest quality, allowing us to provide
you a satisfaction guarantee with confidence in everything we sell.
& Cockade International (CCI) is the First World War Aviation Historical Society. There
are around 1,500 members in 25 countries all over the world. We are registered UK charity
number 1117741. All trustees, officers of the society and contributors to the journal give their services voluntarily.
extraordinary story of a war hero's flight to freedom from the Nazis has been revealed by his daughters, after they retraced
his steps and reclaimed the shoes he wore on the epic 200-mile trek. Sixty years on his
daughter Ellie Targett, a radio presenter in Herefordshire, and her sister Yule, who lives in Devon, set out on foot to retrace
their father's daring escape, meeting some of the people who helped him along the way. Mrs
Targett recalled the emotional moment when his battered lace-up shoes were returned to her in a brown paper bag by a family
who had sheltered him. They had kept the shoes as a reminder of the young man they had found hiding in a frozen mountain hut.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the house," said Mrs Targett. "The whole
lot of us wept, we never said a word." Mr Somme, a Norwegian, had been caught photographing a strategic German torpedo
station during one of his many spying missions for the Allies in 1944. He was arrested
and put on a passenger ship to take him to a German camp but before the vessel could sail, he escaped his bonds and crept
past his sleeping guard. The marine biologist wore the brown shoes as he walked past his captors
guarding the harbourside, giving them a cheeky wave goodbye to allay suspicion. He
continued to wear them on the first part of the 200-mile escape through the mountains. He
avoided leaving footprints in the deep snow drifts by walking through icy streams and leaping from tree to tree, a trick he
learned as a child. But as he faced climbing the perilous mountains to freedom, the shoes
could take him no further and a 19-year-old named Andre who had helped shelter him from the Germans, offered to swap them
for his new boots. It was the teenager's sister, Selma, who kept the shoes and returned
them to the daughters when they retraced their father's footsteps in 2004. Mr Somme's
daughters learned the details of their father's journey when he wrote a record of his escape from the Germans, who tortured
and executed his brother Iacob, a leading member of the resistance. The children, who were born after
the war, read their father's memoirs and decided to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his trek by following his eight-week
journey. Their father braved bears and wolves during his route over ancient reindeer paths
thousands of feet up in the mountains. After escaping to Sweden the scientist met and
married their English mother Primrose, but he died of cancer in 1961 when the children were still young. His family then moved
from Norway to Dartmouth, Devon. The daughters have published their father's story in his own words,
and now show off the shoes during their presentations. "They go everywhere with me,"
said Mrs Targett. "People are very moved when they hear the story but it really hits
home when they see papa's shoes because they know we are talking about a real man." Mrs
Targett and her sister were the only members of a party of five who managed to finish the trip in 2004 and a year later they
published their father's tale, together with details of their own journey.
Holding on to our history
thats what the National Archives of Australia does. We care for valuable Commonwealth government records and make them available
for present and future generations to use. Our record keeping standards help government to account to the public, ensuring
that evidence is available to support peoples rights and entitlements and that future generations will have a meaningful record
of the past.
The Long, Long Trail cuts
through myth and misinformation to present the facts of the British Army in the First World War : a tribute to the men and
women who fought and won - and to the million who died trying.
With the country at war and all able-bodied men needed to fight,
there was a shortage of labour to work on farms and in other jobs on the land. At the same time it was becoming increasingly
difficult to get food imported from abroad, so more land needed to be farmed to provide homegrown food. The Women's Land
Army provided much of the labour force to work this land. The advertising slogan read, 'For a healthy, happy job
join The Women's Land Army'. In reality, the work was hard and dirty and the hours were long. Some of the girls received
training before they were sent to farms; the farmers themselves trained others. The Timber Corps was set up to teach women
to make pit props, necessary for working in mines, which then had to be loaded onto lorries and transported to the mining
areas. The girls of the land army looked after animals, ploughed the fields, dug up potatoes, harvested the crops, killed
the rats, dug and hoed for 48 hours a week in the winter and 50 hours a week in the summer. As there was not enough machinery
to go round they often had to work with old fashioned equipment, such as horse drawn hand ploughs, and to harvest crops by
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We would love to hear from you, do you have a story
about fashion of the 1920's the 30's 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's and 90's? or some of the clothes
you like and have worn, were you a hippy in the 60's perhaps you were a punk, do you collect postcards have a love of
cars or motor bikes? may be you have a story about a relative in the 1st world war/second world war perhaps the Vietnam war
or any other war during the 20th century, perhaps a story of a famous person from the 20th century that you met or knew, any
images from the 20th century with text to accompany it, would be most welcome, have we got something wrong? if so let us know,
ALL your emails will be replied to a.s.a.p. contact us on our "contact page"
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thank you, for all the images and text you have kindly sent in, it is very much appreciated, having said that, if an image
or some text is copyrighted, and you wish for it to be removed we will remove it A.S.A.P.
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in the making of this site although a few contributors were recycled.