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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jun 2011 20:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Diary of Sergeant D Moriarty, No 8308,

1st Royal Munster Fusiliers,
86th Brigade, 29th Division, Expeditionary Force




http://ww1.osborn.ws/a-gallipoli-diary
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Jun 2011 21:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie dagboek-blog over de Somme, 't is de moment

From the Frontline: Somme 1916

Brigadier General CHT Lucas was CO of the 87th Brigade on the Somme. An Old Contemptible and Captain in the BEF, he had spent 1915 in the Dardanelles. This blog is made up of his Diary entries and letters written in the Summer of 1916. These are his words, published on the corresponding day as when they were written in 1916. 'New' WW1 primary sources such as these are few and far between.

http://somme95.blogspot.com/ poppy
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Aug 2011 10:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

First-hand accounts of the First World War
Stories from the Great War’ is a blog which posts first person experiences and interesting stories from newspapers and periodicals during the war. The website offers a fascinating and personal perspective on the war.

http://storiesfromthegreatwar.blogspot.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Sep 2011 5:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Up to a point, Mr Fry
Since one of the things I’m working on at the moment is a short account of P.G.Wodehouse and the First World War, I was interested in the Wogan on Wodehouse programme on BBC2 last night.
Basically the programme did a good job of persuading viewers that Wodehouse was very funny and well worth reading. The talking heads said some worthwhile things, and relaxed avuncular vividly Wogan did much to convey the sheer pleasure that Wodehouse can give. The wartime broadcasts were dealt with sensibly.
I had a few niggles, but that’s the way I am. The general idea was that Wodehouse’s was a fantasy world, with no connection to reality. I think that description becomes increasingly true after the Second World War, as he became increasingly detatched from the country where his stories were usually set. In the twenties, I’m not at all sure that this was true. Think of The Coming of Bill, with its satire on the eugenicists. Broad satire, definitely, but putting Wodehouse on one side of a keenly contested contemporary issue. There’s more of his times in Wodehouse’s writing than is generally realised.
The TV programme mentioned a very good example from the thirties, The Code of the Woosters, which makes glorious fun of Mosley and his Blackshirts.
Stephen Fry (whose Jeeves was as near-perfect as it could have been) made the statement that got me calling out at the telly: ‘P.G.Wodehouse’s writings,’ he said, ‘contain hardly any mention of the First World War.’
Clearly Fry doesn’t know the 1918 musical ‘The Girl Behind the Gun’, which contains the song ‛Back to the Dear Old Trenches’, a trio for three soldiers whose womenfolk are giving them considerably more trouble than the German army would have done. Here’s an extract:

We’re going back to the dear old trenches,
Cozy trenches, good old trenches.
Life’s getting too exciting,
Trouble’s on our track,
That’s why you and I must go back, back back…
Far more pleasant than at present
Things out there are sure to be
Give me the trenches!
That’s the life!
Foeman’s rifles are but trifles
I would charge a battery,
But I’m afraid to meet my wife!

Wodehouse deals with the War, directly or indirectly, in other places, too. Probably, though, he doesn’t say the things about it that Stephen Fry might wish he had said.


Lees verder:
http://greatwarfiction.wordpress.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Sep 2011 20:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Follow a Canadian family of five brothers, Frank, Fred, Ward, Murray, and Arthur, through the war years of 1914-1918. Their lives and contributions are chronicled by their letters sent from around the world. The blog was started in June 2008(1914 'storytime')with the boys' letters starting in the summer of 2009 (1915). The 'current events' were published by the Aylmer Express Newspaper. “In after years when this you see,I wonder what your name will be?” Mary's (Mother's) 'Friendship' poem.

http://www.canadaworldwarone.com/2009/01/war.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Nov 2011 8:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

WANNWEIL IST IM BILD

Ein Zukunftsprojekt unserer Vorfahren. Über 700 Fotos und Dokumente zur Wannweiler Ortsgeschichte und der Wollpert-Familie, aus dem Abfallhaufen der Geschichte ausgegraben. (Foto zum vergrößern anklicken)

Neueste Posts mit dem Label Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918 werden angezeigt. Ältere Posts anzeigen

http://simonwolperth.blogspot.com/search/label/Weltkrieg%201914%20-%201918

Echt wel een heel mooi blog over Wannweil (Baden-Württemberg), het bekijken waard
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Nov 2011 11:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Blog over vliegtuigen:

http://wwiaviation.blogspot.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Nov 2011 8:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Piper of Loos:

Quote:
I was a typical prepubescent boy: Commando comics, stenn gun sticks, fir cone grenades. Incongruously violent games for kids; Bang! Bang! Neeeooow! Kabooosh! There was no honour or glory in our play, no honorable mentions in dispatches, no medal ceremonies, no weeping widows. Just brutal annihilation.

Lie down! You’re dead! I got you. No you didn’t!


Verder op:
http://26treasures.tumblr.com/tagged/Daniel_Laidlaw
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Nov 2011 8:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Lest We Forget
Updated 16 hours ago
On Nov. 11 last year, I stood with a large group at the Cenotaph in Southampton in a show of remembrance to those from our community that had given the ultimate sacrifice to protect us in past wars around the world.

A few weeks before that, while in Europe, my wife and I had visited Ypres, Passchendale, Essex Farm, St. Julien, Hill 62, Menin Gate, Beaumont Hamel, Vimy Ridge and the Somme. All of these World War I sites were places that Canadian Soldiers had demonstrated their bravery and where many have their lives in the so called "War to End Wars." Today, most of these sites are grassed over but much is the same as it was in 1918 with the trenches and bomb craters remaining. One can clearly see the terrain of battle that our troops faced.

We also visited many cemeteries and saw rows of grave markers with the Maple Leaf displayed at the top indicating the resting place of a Canadian soldier. Close to 70,000 of our young men lost their lives during that war in Europe and are buried in one of these many well maintained resting places.

At this point in the past year, I began to think about those that stayed home and the role they played to support the war effort and how little that we do to remember them. In the case of Saugeen Shores, the one thing that comes to mind is the Dominion Plywood factory that manufactured plywood wings for De Havilland Mosquito Bombers during the Second World War.

Many men not eligible for war duty and a lot of women that were wives and girlfriends of soldiers off in Europe worked there. Many of us in the community today had parents and family members that were part of that important effort against tyranny. The location of the factory was recently levelled and the new Rexall Drug store built in its place.

A memorial plaque on this site or on the rail trail across from it would be an appropriate gesture to remember the important contribution that these folks made during a difficult time.

This Nov. 11, please take time to remember those that went to war and also those that contributed with support back home.

LEST WE FORGET.

This week's Our View was written by Willam Streeter of Southampton. Look for a guest editorial from Streeter in Shoreline Beacon in the new year.

http://www.shorelinebeacon.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3361570
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Nov 2011 10:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Volkstuintjes. Wist u dat die al 173 jaar bestaan? Al in 1838 werden de eerste verhuurd in Nederland. Tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog werden ze echter heel populair: voedsel werd ook in Nederland schaarser, ook al waren we neutraal. Het verbouwen van eigen voedsel werd erg populair en het aantal volkstuintjes nam zienderogen toe. Pas na de Tweede Wereldoorlog werden de tuinen ook meer recreatief gebruikt met een 2e huisje erop.

http://www.berkelstream.nl/column/139/geschiedenis-3.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Nov 2011 10:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Volkstuintjes. Wist u dat die al 173 jaar bestaan? Al in 1838 werden de eerste verhuurd in Nederland. Tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog werden ze echter heel populair: voedsel werd ook in Nederland schaarser, ook al waren we neutraal. Het verbouwen van eigen voedsel werd erg populair en het aantal volkstuintjes nam zienderogen toe. Pas na de Tweede Wereldoorlog werden de tuinen ook meer recreatief gebruikt met een 2e huisje erop.

http://www.berkelstream.nl/column/139/geschiedenis-3.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Nov 2011 8:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ce site est destiné à rendre témoignage aux combattants d’Argonne quelle que soit leur nation. Si vous possédez des écrits ou photos d’un de ces combattants, ceux-ci peuvent être publiés sur ce site en hommage à leur sacrifice. N’hésitez pas pour cela à me contacter à l’aide de la rubrique contact.

Je suis également à votre disposition pour tout complément d’information sur les contenus de ce site. Si dans le cadre de vos travaux et recherches vous souhaitez obtenir par exemple une version haute définition d’une des photos, n’hésitez pas à me le demander là aussi à l’aide de la rubrique contact


http://argonne1418.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Dec 2011 7:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Making Military History Accessible and Engaging in order to Forever Preserve the Memory of Sacrifice

The purpose of this blog is to promote the education of history; perpetuate the memories of those of the Canadian Expeditionary Force who gave their lives in The Great War; to support veterans, past and present; and aid in the physical preservation of our collective past.
http://ifyebreakfaith.blogspot.com/2011/12/such-pleasant-company-being-right.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Dec 2011 23:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dear old girl
A collection of letters from Pte Dick Armer to his wife Mabel who he frequently referred to as "Dear old girl". His two children were Billie and Marjorie. Dick had promised to "write every day" and, with few exceptions, kept his promise. The letters were written during WW1 from Camp Borden in Canada, on the train to Halifax, on board ship to England, from Witley Camp and from France...
http://dearoldgirl.blogspot.com/2011/12/12-dec-1916.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jan 2012 12:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wisten jullie dat:

Quote:
The Commitment in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Thirty British casualties from the two world wars are buried or commemorated in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaïre, in six sites: two in Banana
European Cemetery; one in Boma Cemetery; one in Kinshasa (Gombe) Cemetery;
fifteen in Lubudi African Cemetery, also the location of Lubudi Memorial which
commemorates eight casualties who have no known grave; two in Lubumbashi
Cemetery; and one in Matadi European Cemetery.

Historical note
One of the two war graves in Lubumbashi Cemetery is that of Captain Gordon
Williams, Welch Regiment (the son of Sir Robert Williams, an associate of Cecil
Rhodes), who died in Lubumbashi on 15 November 1918, during the influenza
epidemic, after being invalided home from Gallipoli.

http://www.cwgc.org/admin/files/DemRepCongo.pdf
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2012 13:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Boeken en artikelen over de Grote Oorlog, in de achtertuin van Zeeland
http://zeelandboeken.pzc.wegenerwordpress.nl/eerste-wereldoorlog-1914-1918/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 15 Feb 2012 16:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Let op de datum 2011
Quote:


1.


There are two veterans of the First World War left in the world. Of all the parts of the world that move on without you, of all the borders beyond the horizon, of all the varying speeds and trajectories and characters and stories colluding together in giant waves of "now," "yet-to-come," "once was," and then it boils down to two. It’s not even the whole hand.



Nine years ago, there were 700 left alive.



With the recent deaths of Frank Buckles, John Babcock and Harry Patch, we are left with Claude Choules and Florence Green. (Upon learning this, Claude remarked: “Everything comes to those who wait and wait.”) Nearly 10,000,000 men were killed in the conflict, 65 million participated, and now we are left with two. Think about that. Think about those numbers. What are you supposed to do when an era is inches away from disappearing?



And one answer is—insofar as I can tell—you catch. Which is to say, the past isn’t a bequeathal. No sword taps our shoulders and bids us rise. The past is monumental, filled with all the majesty, joy, horror, heartbreak and surprise one can imagine—and it’s also a pass, a literal pass. It’s Xavi to anybody, even people in stands at Camp Nou, I bet. It’s Rajon Rondo to anyone on the Garden floor. (Or Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, if you haven’t been following sports for, you know, a while.) We are speaking, writing and reading in a language whose current form has lit up the field for the past 600 years—and even with that lingua historia, we are still left with recurring questions: How do generations meet? How do they talk about each other? How do they get along? How do they say goodbye in a way that befits their intelligence and their times? And then there's the aching impulse that haunts us and says, “It’s your story. You tell it. You, you, you.”


2.
Lemuel Cook—the last living veteran of the American Revolution—seemed to glow at the end of his life. His grandkids would come running up to him on the porch of his farmhouse in upstate New York and say, “Tell us about George Washington. What did he look like?” and Lemuel’s voice—noted for its “volume and strength”—would say, “Let me think about it,” and, after a moment, he would begin, telling of Washington having the “kindest look in the eyes I’ve ever seen” and how the General complimented his horse once and remembered meeting him and his horse years later.

Cook was proud that he could mount his horse “as quick as a squirrel.” In interviews, he makes note of Washington forbidding laughter at the British, noting that it was “bad enough to surrender without being insulted,” and said that Cornwallis’ surrendering men had “a pint of lice on them.”



After the war, Cook moved to Utica, where—as reported in a 1905 edition of The Sunday Vindicator—he “had an encounter with an Indian,” who (according to the limited details) ended up being smashed over the head with a chair.



When it came to what happened as the Revolution's numbers dwindled, the evidence suggests this: when 12 were left, The New York Times praised them as “The Apostles of Liberty,” and Congress voted to give each a pension. That seems to be it.



It's believed that, in all, ten men from the American Revolution lived long enough to have their pictures taken. Elias Brewster Hillard tracked down many of them—including Samuel Downing, Adam Link, Daniel Waldo, William Hutchings and Alexander Milliner—and published the photographs and interviews in a book titled, fittingly, The Last Men of the American Revolution. The coats they wore, the composition of their hair: all of this gives us something.

In the interviews, it's clear that the men remained as loyal and as stalwart as ever. When Brewster Hillard asked Sam Downing, “What do you think [General Washington] would say if he were here now?” you can almost see the jerk of surprise Downing must have given at the question. “Say! … I don’t know. But he’d be mad to see me sitting here. I tell 'em if they’ll give me a horse I’ll go as it is.” (When interviewed, Sam Downing was 102, looked like Christopher Lloyd and kept beehives. A bolero would not have been out of place on him either.)



3.
So, not only do you catch, you catch and weave. Take Lincoln. Take America’s 50th Jubilee, which celebrated those who were left of the Revolutionary Era. Take the 50th and 75 anniversaries of the Battle of Gettysburg, where one speaker hailed those “who first met upon this field to vie with each other in doing hurt … now meet here to outvie each other in deeds of kindness and friendship and love.” (Or just open up The Upanishads: "We are like the spider. / We weave our life and / then move along it.”)

When Lincoln looked at the argument Stephen Douglas was making about states’ rights, he said this:

That perfect liberty they sigh for — the liberty of making slaves of other people — Jefferson never thought of … 


When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government — that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that ``all men are created equal;'' and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.


Judge Douglas frequently, with bitter irony and sarcasm, paraphrases our argument by saying "The white people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, but they are not good enough to govern a few miserable negroes!''


Well, I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are, and will continue to be as good as the average of people elsewhere. I do not say the contrary. What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent.


It’s worth noting that Lemuel Cook, the last of the Revolution, hated the Civil War, calling the South’s rebellion “terrible,” insisting that it should be put down and stomping his cane on the ground for emphasis. Alexander Milliner, who had been Washington’s drummer boy, hated it, too. (Of the other last seven, Waldo wished Lincoln had been harsher on the rebels, while Link kept forgetting the war was even occurring.) Milliner even considered heading down to Rochester to literally drum up volunteers. The thought of a country “so hardly got, should be destroyed by its own people” was gutting.



And as the war came to its close in 1865 and Lincoln was vindicated in his belief that ballots and the union were the Revolution's true inheritance, not bullets: as the South rebuilt their cities, bridges and roads and set to tending their burnt land: as investors set their sights on railroads and lumber and businesses that made turpentine: as the age drifted towards the future: as the transcontinental railroad tied coast to coast together and 23 million foreigners arrived with variations on the rucksack over their shoulder: as Twain, London and Crane took that piñata of blank paper and—with a swing—cracked out confetti and candy of the highest order: the men and women marked for WWI entered the world. Harry Patch was born (1898), Frank Buckles was born (1901), John Babcock was born (1900), Florence Green was born (1901), and Claude Choules was born (1901).

As they are born, two of the last of the Civil War, James Hard and Albert Woolson, continue to age.

Hard—the last Civil War combat veteran—lived to 111, fought at Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and met Lincoln at the White House. He thought Lincoln was “a comical looking fellow on horseback” and was frequently referred to in his obituary as a "salty fellow," although whether that meant George Burns material or cough-until-you-turn-red-from-embarrassment stuff, I can't say. (Oh, how I hope the latter. Lincoln’s own jokes, rejoinders, and off-color bits—most of which were collected here—are terrific, i.e., telling an unfortunate aspirational lawyer in the middle of court, “If that’s Latin, you’d better call another witness.” One hopes Hard had similar stuff in him.)


Albert Woolson was a drummer boy who lived in Duluth, Minnesota. Like Hard, Woolson loved cigars, puffing through one after the other as he shuffled through hundreds of cards wishing him a happy birthday and roared out the lyrics to "Just before the Battle, Mother" during a radio interview the same day. 

From an article in Life magazine: “The townspeople know him as a deaf but high-spirited centenarian who romps with his 3-year-old grandchild, tramps up-stairs and down several times a day and still insists”—at 106—“on doing his own snow shoveling.”



There is a wonderful home video showing him in a chair with his grandchild in his lap, running her hands through her hair in front of a set of flowers that line the house. He’s wearing a blue, Mr. Rogers-styled cardigan over a shirt and tie.



4.
What if I died a hundred years away from the year I was born?

Where would I be?

5.
Ferdinand is shot. Belgrade is cleared and evacuated. The German navy mobilizes. The price of wheat jumps. Belgium is invaded. England’s proposed peace conference is rejected. The newspapers clear the front pages and wheel out the big type from the cargo hangars because it has arrived: WAR. 



Henry Adams famously describes the new age as being filled with “Prosperity never before imagined, power never yet wielded by man, speed never reached by anything but a meteor…” But, for some, that meteor has yet to land and make itself known. Ford only perfected their assembly lines in 1913, long before Chaplin would be slurped spaghetti-like into the cogs. Infrared photographs appeared in 1910. The Vatican thought it was worthwhile to have their priests take an oath against modernization.

It takes a second for the world to become the world, so when the Poilus-to-be ("poilus" being France’s nickname for their soldiers) and the Tommies-in-training ("Tommies," the UK’s nickname) set to their early work, it wasn’t necessarily out of character to see them bayonet dummies amid hawthorns and horse chestnuts, thinking that that was all there was to it. They were—as Gerald Brenan, an early conscript notes— practicing for “the Boer War … we were not taught how to fight in trenches. This, we were told, was merely a temporary phase.” Another conscript, Vivian de Sola Pinto, writes of the “nebulous, but fundamentally generous and humane enthusiasm” that was in the air. To keep abreast of the latest, he picked up “the numerous editions of the morning and evening papers which appeared at all sorts of odd times.” In the midst of this, John Maynard Keynes rushed across King’s College Green in Cambridge to borrow his brother’s motorcycle and headed up to London to give his advice. Harking back to the optimism that brought picnics and revelers to the First Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War, it’s thought that everyone off to the war would be home for Christmas.



As Paul Fussell notes in The Great War and Modern Memory:

At the beginning of the war, a volunteer had to stand five feet eight to get into the army. By October 11, the need for men was such that the standard was lowered to five feet five. And on November 5, after the thirty thousand casualties of October, one had to be only five foot three to get in.
The center of gravity, though, the thing that pulled men of ever decreasing height to it and became more permanent than what conscripts like Gerald Brenan could ever have imagined: The front. The visceral thereness of it. The shelling. The use of the dead as firing steps because the trench had been dug too deep to see out of. The burning petrol, the chlorine that blew back into your own lines, and the mortar fire. Unending din, unending mud. Gas masks for dogs. Water two feet high in the trench. Rats. Enough lice and dirt to cause men to weep. The dead, everywhere. A newfound fondness for the sky, its colors, iterations, and shadings—the straight and simple blue, glowing its ineffable glow.



The machine guns. Douglas Haig—nicknamed "Butcher Haig" for the two million men who died under his command—was the commander of the British Expeditionary Forces and the commander at the Battle of the Somme, referred to by soldiers of the time as “The Great Fuck-Up.” Haig thought that the effect of machine guns on horses had been “greatly exaggerated." He makes Theodore Roosevelt’s and Kipling’s romantic illusions about the war and their subsequent heartbreak (Roosevelt lost his son Quentin, Kipling lost his son John) seem tame by comparison.

The flame-throwers. In German, it’s Trommelfeuer, as in, "Drum-roll fire." A land crammed with corpses. Soldiers try to explode the flame-throwers' fuel tanks by lobbing grenades. It doesn't work. The writer Henry de Montherlant claims that one could “walk on the ground of Verdun as though on the face of the Country.” (Grant said something similar after Shiloh.) Extraordinary civilians who refuse to budge. Brenan (whose account of the war resides alongside other soldiers in the anthology Promise of Greatness) writes of a cottage “occupied by an old woman who could not go out by day without being sniped. Her cows lay around her dead on their sides; but she would not leave, and the Army had no authority to move her.” 


In the trenches, Brenan and his company whisper “because the Germans were only 30 yards away, and if they heard voices they would send over a rifle grenade or a jam jarful of shrapnel.” Other Brits on the line see the Germans at night as water rats sinking into their holes, wraiths with spiked helmets, or disturbed earwigs. By contrast, the Germans saw the Brits as a “brownish-yellow fleeting shadow.”



Not all was metaphor. Some soldiers legitimately hallucinate. In one account I read, after five days without sleep, JR Mallree, a Canadian who fought at Ypres, saw all the animals from Noah’s Ark walk up and over a nearby farmhouse.

And some stories are so incredible they don’t need the aid of hallucination or metaphor: in the Battle of San Matteo—fought in the Alps, 12,000 feet above sea level—many are killed by the lightning itself.

Back in London, Lord Northcliffe expounds on the virtues of the mints being given to soldiers—round mints swirled to look like peppermint bull's-eyes. Readers of The Times crack open their paper to find him praising the mint’s “digestive effect, though that is of small account at the front, where health is so good and indigestion hardly ever even heard of. The open-air life, the regular and plenteous feeding, the exercise, and the freedom from care and responsibility, keep the soldiers extraordinarily fit and contented." Meanwhile, General Sir Richard Gale loses several men who just simply freeze to death and Leonard Thompson decries the amount of lice each man carries, and how “we couldn’t stop shitting because we had caught dysentery.”



In the trenches, they sing, to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne," “We’re here because we’re here.”


Some were ‘glad’: " … the German trenches, as the British discovered during the attack on the Somme, were deep, clean, elaborate, and sometimes even comfortable. As Coppard found on the Somme, 'Some of the [German] dugouts were thirty feet deep, with as many as sixteen bunk-beds, as well as door bells, water tanks with taps, and cupboards and mirrors.'"

Others weren’t: "The whole conduct of our trench warfare seemed to be based on the concept that we, the British, were not stopping in the trenches for long, but were tarrying awhile on the way to Berlin and that very soon we would be chasing Jerry across country. The result, in the long term, meant that we lived a mean and impoverished sort of existence in lousy scratch holes."

From Fussell’s book once again.

Wilfred Owen writes his mother from the Somme at the beginning of 1917: "The waders are of course indispensable. In 2 ½ miles of trench which I waded yesterday there was not one inch of dry ground. There is a mean depth of two feet of water." Pumps worked day and night but to little effect. Rumor held that the Germans not only could make it rain when they wanted it to — that is, all the time — but had contrived some shrewd technical method for conducting the water in their lines into the British positions — perhaps piping it underground. Ultimately there was no defense against the water but humor. "Water knee deep and up to the waist in places," one soldiers notes in his diary. "Rumors of being relieved by the Grand Fleet.’
"
“You could smell the front lines miles before you could see it,” someone tells an American ambulance driver who later goes on to record it in letters home.

An ambulance driver—and let’s not forget Frank Buckles, America’s last, was an ambulance driver—was in a great position to see the rest of the war-as-montage pass. From the ambulance car—which could hold up to three men, unless one was contagious—the driver could see a sky bright red, ammunition dumps on fire, black soldiers from Barbados fighting off the Germans with knives they’d brought from home (“Run Kaiser William, Run for your life, boy,” they’d sing), careless peasants rushing out to a nearby river to pick up the scores of fish that been killed by the shelling, dirt in front of the German trenches heading up in gigantic fountains, burying parties, where the soldiers would find heads that could fall off at a touch, white German pillboxes, “massive and rounded as elephants,” one soldier dribbling a soccer ball as he and his colleagues made their way to the enemy lines, someone digging a trench through a corpse, decapitating a body along the way, and soldiers complaining to the cooks that their breakfast bacon “smelled like dead men.”


The First World War also oversaw the rise of MI5 (christened as such in 1916, though they were formed in 1909), the modern world’s first iteration of a modern secret service, though, of course, the profession is as old as the Egyptians. (And surprising all the way through history, too. Did you know Daniel Defoe was a spy? I didn’t until recently.)

So MI5 intercepted mail, protected ports, continued running enemy agents long after they’d been jailed or killed, and noticed that Germany sent Lenin back to Russia with a very specific purpose in mind, one that—as the country went from nationwide strikes to repression in Petrograd to a Bolshevik majority—saw itself through.

6.
There is plenty more to cover—the nature of the home-front in England (white feathers, the introduction of paper money, odd pub hours), France (everything shut at 9:30), and Germany (no more foreign words for the children), how one soldier imagined a tank crashing its way into a gaily laughing theater, people cruelly hungry for atrocity stories—but I hope you’ll forgive me if we leave this as an opening salvo of memory and nothing more, an aggressive splash of paint to the canvas. I’ve taken up so much of your reading time already and we still have to talk about the men who are our reason for being here: this war’s last.


Bright Williams—New Zealand’s last and a runner at Passchendaele—held a very private funeral. Russia’s last—Ukraine’s Mikhail Krichevsky—was nicknamed “The Man of Three Centuries.” Turkey’s last—Yakup Satar, who also fought for Turkey’s independence—was one of 50 secretly trained in gas warfare, even unbeknownst to his country. Yod Sangrungruang—Thailand’s last—served as a mechanic.

Lazare Ponticelli was France’s last. He came to France from Italy and adopted the land as his own, wanting “to defend France because she gave me food,” working first as a chimney sweep and then selling newspapers in the streets of Paris. He once continued to fire upon a group of Germans—blood running into his eyes—until they surrendered. When they waved the white flag, Ponticelli was not certain as to whether or not he was still alive. Then there was the man with his leg caught in the wires, screaming for help, screaming until Ponticelli sucked in some air, ran out with wire cutters, got the man free, and dragged him back into the trench. As The Economist notes, there was also "[t]he German soldier he tripped over in the dark, already wounded and expecting to be killed, who mutely held up his fingers to show him that he had two children. The comrades who helped him, because he could not read or write, to keep in touch by letter with the milkmaid he had met before the war.
"

In an interview with Le Monde, he said: “Aux enfants, je leur dis et je leur répète : ne faites pas la guerre." (To the children, I say and repeat: do not make war.”)



Harry Patch recently passed. He was 111. Along with Claude Choules (who is an Australian citizen) he was Britain’s last veteran to fight, and was honored as the last before the "discovery" of Florence Green, who now holds that position. Patch was born in June of 1898. He served between 1916 and 1918. Helped build the University of Bristol. His death was marked by church bells across the country, a song from Radiohead, a poem from Carol Ann Duffy, as well as comments from the Queen, Prince Charles, and then-Prime Minister Brown.



Patch spoke with a hypnotic, often solemn, distinctly West Country accent (where "ye" is still used!). If whiskey was ever made with a plunge pot, that’s how it would sound. He often leaned his head on his hands atop his cane when he spoke. In interview after interview he repeated: “War is the deliberate and condoned slaughter of human beings." He would say this to anyone who would listen—to a group of children gathered around him after he received his honorary degree from Bristol, to the camera crew that followed him to Passchendaele, and many others. In his autobiography, it’s phrased, “War is organized murder and nothing else.”




John Babcock—Canada’s last—enlisted in the army at 16 by lying about his age. He got his pilot’s license at 65 and graduated from high school at 95. (In short: an early starter.) Received a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II for his 109th birthday, remarking that she’s “a pretty nice looking girl.” When he got to Britain, he was deemed too young to “go over the top.” Via the North Bay Nugget: “I feel guilty because I’m not a war hero. I didn’t get to accomplish what I set out to do.”

Frank Buckles, America's: the only one with his own webpage. When he tried to sign up, he was too young—18—and the recruiter turned him away. A week later, he came back with his Grandmother. “Same recruiting station, same Sergeant … but I had increased my age to 21. He was very … gentlemanly and gave me the test.” England, first. Winchester. Drove a motorcycle around base and as an escort. Later upgraded to a Ford. Transported prisoners back from Germany. During his only leave he stayed at the Hotel de Pay in the Bay of Arachon (near Bordeaux), where, because of the water covering the ground, the postman would deliver the mail on stilts. He ultimately became a farmer in West Virginia.
 After he passed, Speaker Boehner and Senator Reid decided that Frank Buckles would not lie in state in the U.S. Capital rotunda. He was buried at Arlington with full honors.

7.
And now—

Florence Green: the last living veteran in England and the last living female veteran of the war, her status identified only a few years ago, when a researcher for the Gerontology Research Group—whose goals include slowing the aging process and tracking the lives of those around the age of 110—came across a mention of her under her maiden name in the U.K.’s National Archives and traced her to her current location in Norwich. Served as a waitress in the officers’ mess as a member of the Women’s Royal Air Force for a couple months before the war came to an end. In a 2008 interview, she said: "I met dozens of pilots and would go on dates. I had the opportunity to go up in one of the planes but I was scared of flying. I would work every hour God sent. But I had dozens of friends on the base and we had a great deal of fun in our spare time." At her birthday this past February, a reporter asked Green what it was like to be 110; she answered, "It's not much different to being 109." She lives with her daughter May, age 89.

Claude Choules: a 41-year career that spanned both world wars. His specialty was "blowing things up." Witnessed the surrender of the German Navy in 1918. Born in Pershore, in March, 1901. Moved to Australia after the First World War. Sent to clean up a part of the harbor in Western Australia and came back with “a gift of pink slippers he had found” for his daughter. Used to “see hospital ships coming across and soldiers being wheeled off them.” He was walking and swimming at 100 and only moved to a nursing home at 105. (Another secret to long life, Choules deadpanned—“Keep breathing.”) 



8.
Fortunately for us, Claude Choules (still breathing) and Harry Patch (now deceased) both have autobiographies. Patch’s book is titled The Last Tommy. It's, indeed, very nice, featuring plenty of things to underline, such as:

I do recall when I was aged about five or six, there was a big pear tree in the middle of the garden, with very tempting fruit. I remember Dad saying to me, ‘I know how many pears are on that tree, so don’t you pick ‘em.’ I didn’t, but when he next looked at the fruit, he found that I had taken a bite out of the back of every one I could reach.
Below is an episode of a documentary about WWI veterans that focuses exclusively on Patch:



Choules's autobiography is called The Last of the Last. According to Choules's daughter, it was written in “a variety of old school exercise books” sometime during his 80s. It is straight and sweet, sometimes dipping into details that everyone might not be familiar with—i.e.,

“I suggested Spud get the sailmaker in Fremantle to supply a very strong nylon triangular storm sail and rig this on a small mizzen mast stepped about three feet for’d of the transom and sheeted in hard amidships by means of sheets led to cleats fitted on each quarter.”
—but it crosses the finish line as a genuinely likable book.

"On 3 March 1901, six weeks after Queen Victoria died, with the country still in full mourning, I was born in Pershore, Worcestershire,” Claude begins. He describes quite a few animals in the book, the first notable one being a cat his family owned, Smut.
 
“When we went down into the village she would usually accompany us, walking in front with her tail in the air. On reaching the first house, she would jump through the hawthorn hedge and remain there until our return— then she would hop out and lead the way home.”

 He hides beneath a train track with a friend to see what it feels like when a train roars over. A cow is struck by a bolt of lightning. He goes fishing with his friends and his father. His favorite pastime is lying on his back in a hay meadow and watching the skylarks move up “in their ever-ascending spirals.”

 One evening “at dusk, I thought I saw a bat fly out of [an old elm tree.] On the summer evenings, we saw lots of bats flying around. I climbed the tree, put my hand in the hole and pulled out a bat. After a good look at it I put it back again.” Does the bat blink? Wriggle? Squeak? Hold still? Choules doesn't say. Instead, he continues:

 “Sometimes friends would ask me to show them a bat, which I gladly did, although I always insisted that they didn’t hurt it and that I should put it back afterwards. I think the bats got to know me because I was never once bitten …” 



After his brothers leave for Australia to work on the railway, Choules joins the navy in April, 1915. 

His boat is stationed in Southampton—for five to six months a year, he had to swim ashore. He's taught the use of the boatswain’s pipe (or, ‘bo’sn’s pipe’), which is used to communicate specific orders, i.e., the Captain’s coming aboard, dinner’s ready, everybody to stations, and the rest.



The Grand Fleet takes Choules under its wing when he turns 16. He thrills at the sight of “greyhounds of the sea,” betraying the occasional poeticism when, after his first bit of action in WWI, he describes one retreating ship as looking like it had been “punched in the ribs.” Or when he calls a hookah a “hubble-bubble pipe.”



There are plenty of things to marvel and laugh at when he joins the Fleet—watching a 15-inch shell cause a 29,000-ton ship “to roll 10 degrees away from the engaged side due to the recoil of the guns,” discovering that there were drills so specific they included ‘Secure captain in straitjacket and send him to flagship,’ ‘Chief cook to report on board flagship with fried eggs,’ or that first bit of action, where the gunners on his ship claimed to have shot down a zeppelin.



After the war, Choules guarded the remains of Germany’s fleet at Scapa Flow, that is, until Rear Admiral von Reuter decided to scuttle and ground the ships. Choules writes:


The Flow was filled with German ships all flying a white flag and carrying the internment crews. All our boats were lowered and we were rushed aboard any of the German ships still afloat in an attempt to close portholes, watertight doors and such, but this proved useless, as they were too far gone … Our divers went down and closed portholes and watertight doors, while working parties manned pumps. Our ship’s company managed to raise the light cruiser Emden … 


Accused of breaching the honor of the navy, von Reuter replied that he was convinced that any Englishman in his place would have done the same thing. As a result of his remarks, he was not charged.



Choules spends Peace Day in Kensington Gardens, living in a tent for a week, marches past the Cenotaph, and dines spectacularly well.

He’s soon to sea again:



During this time, sailors and soldiers of the Allies struggled with horrors from the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf. They rescued refugees fleeing from massacres. They warred with pirates and brigands. They policed ammunition dumps left in the wake of war, which had become a temptation to every local politician and freebooter. They settled quarrels between local sheikhs, or, if they failed, subsequently gathered the remains. They watched Smyrna burn. They rescued stranded survivors of White Russian armies and Armenian villages. They blew up Caspian forts, fed babies and rescued Christian girls.
After such high-octane activity, he manages to get some leave and decides to trek to the catacombs of Citta Vecchia (Mdina today) where the Phoenicians once lived. While waiting at the train station to be taken back, they grew impatient, realized that they could drive and fire an engine, stole a train, and 

"the stationmaster was going berserk at seeing his train pinched but away we went along the single-rail track. A few miles down the line our engine crew managed to stop her on the outskirts of Valetta and we all jumped out and disappeared in all directions.”



In the '20s, Choules tested launching aircraft from a sea-faring vessel and often leapt from the flying deck of the ship into the waves, which were some 40 to 45 feet below. 

On his first day on the ship that was to take him to Australia, where he planned to join the Royal Australian Navy, Choules met Ethel, who would later become his wife. They first lived in McMahons Point and watched the Sydney Harbor Bridge appear before their eyes.



Choules writes:

Whilst we were in Sydney, Ethel would often bring the two girls aboard to visit me on my duty weekends. After looking around the ship, we would go down to my mess for afternoon tea and big Jim Mackey, our ship’s blacksmith, would pick Daphne up and say: ‘What would you like for tea, Daphne?’ 


Much to the amusement of Jim and my messmates she would reply: ‘A boiling negg, please.’

After Sydney, it’s to Fremantle, West Australia. There, he encounters ho-hum domestic concerns and responds in an entirely proportional way:

A frog had made its home near our front gate and in the evenings it made its mournful croaking call. This frightened Anne, so I tried to locate it under the hibiscus shrubs and hoped my attention had shifted it. But the next evening it was at it again. I promised Anne I would get rid of it by blowing it up, so I made a small charge of gelignite and placed it right on top of where I thought it was. I covered it over, lit the fuse and in a few seconds there was a loud bang. Meanwhile, the family looked on from the front verandah. I was sure that I had fixed it but almost immediately the old frog started croaking again, as loud as ever! We all collapsed with laughter, so much so that it cured Anne of her fright, meaning it wasn’t a complete waste of effort.


In the Second World War, Choules delivered a ‘recognition signal of the day’ to an island outpost, secured offshore telegraph cables, set charges on a wharf in case the Japanese created the need for a ‘scorched earth policy,’ learned how to degauss mines, taught the Americans how to degauss mines, and handled the first wartime mine washed upon Australia’s shores.



Years later, he handled the nighttime security watch when Queen Elizabeth visited Australia. He retired at the age of 55 in March, 1956 and moved to Safety Bay.


9.

Reached by email, David Ekbladh, an assistant professor of American History at Tufts University, thinks that, in the United States at least, “the age of our connection [to the war] passed long ago …” in part because the First World War was a different type of war than those that followed and didn’t see the same ideological systems at play. “People talk of the Korean War as the forgotten war,” he says, “but even that conflict gets context as part of the Cold War, which itself is still remembered because it was a successful struggle against another side that can be seen as unsavory.”

Yet it seems to me the planet’s first global war demands a kind of global grief. We need a moment of global empathy. If we can take to Twitter and talk with the Greens of Iran and the revolutionaries of Egypt, head to Flickr and watch everyone photograph everything they see over the course of a day, could we not also take a moment to tilt our heads, and turn our attention from the present to the past? Maybe hand out shovels to men and women on the street and say, “Congratulations—you’ve just been drafted as an archeologist!”

I hope none of the last ever had a moment where they said, “Wait, where did everyone go?” I hope each of them had a dog, cat or an eight-foot tall Polynesian-speaking cockatoo as loyal as Argos. I hope the porches were spacious and the sun was sweet, and that lemonade, whiskey or games of chess were always close at hand. If you’re Claude, I hope you saw the statues that line Cottlesloe and that they astonished and amazed—or that the Swan River carries past your window a different and wonderful boat or creature every day. If you’re Florence, I hope the streets of King’s Lynn are active—that the long lanes that mark the area are just as active today as they were in the 40’s—that there’s plenty of talk as to what to take to the garden this year, that the radio is propped up on the garden wall, Alan Green is announcing an electric match, and a cat is trying to nibble the plastic, curious as to what the noise-emitting thing exactly is …



Marking the death of Lazare Ponticelli, France's last, Sarkozy said: "It is to [Lazare Ponticelli] and his generation that we owe in large part the peaceful and pacified Europe of today. It is up to us to be worthy of that." And he's right.

It's a legacy that was taken up by Robert H. Jackson and Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, chief prosecutors for the U.S. and the UK at Nuremberg. It's a legacy you feel as you hear Lazare, Claude and Harry say, over and over again, “No more war. Stop.”





Bill Clinton came to speak at Tufts University when I was 16. In an improvised speech—he’d been so impressed with the previous speaker he’d decided to throw all his remarks out the window— he touched on Ireland and the “Troubles” and compared it to Israel and Palestine. I’d switched tickets with my Dad and gotten a seat in the front row. After he was done, I managed to stop him on the rope line by saying I was reporter for the Newburyport Daily News, which was true. I asked him if he had time for a question. He said, “Shoot.” I said, “What do you think’s the basic psychological principle that prompts all human conflict?”



“Envy,” he said, and then began to riff on soccer matches and Richard Wright’s Nonzero, a book that stresses the need for a non-zero sum—or, rather, positive-sum solution. It’s a rigorously banal book (so much so that I forgot I was reading it twice) but the basic “point” it makes is sound: distribute risk, distribute generosity: society is too close, too woven together to expect or allow anything different.


At this point, Clinton had been talking for so long—10, 15 minutes—I felt like I had to say something, so when he started to talk about seeking non-zero-sum solutions in conflict situations, I said, “Like the Christmas truce of 1914.” He said, “Right,” and then he moved on—a sixty-mile-per-hour answer brought to a screeching halt. 

Part of me felt crushed. At the time, I thought my response had let him down. As I passed out of the crowd, amazed people asked, “What did you say to him?”

But there was nothing wrong in bringing up the truce. Christmas Day 1914. That day the firing stopped. “You English,” someone called from the German trenches. “Why don’t you come out?” A few deeply sarcastic Englishmen—perhaps noting the candles that had already been lit for the holiday, points of light flaring amid the mud and bodies—replied, “Waiter! Waiter!”

A letter-writer to the London Times described it this way:

Our fellows paid a visit to the German trenches, and they did likewise. Cigarettes, cigars, addresses, &c., were exchanged, and everyone, friend and foe, were real good pals. One of the German officers took a photo of English and German soldiers arm-in-arm with exchanged caps and helmets.


… a football match was played between them and us in front of the trench. They even allowed us to bury all our dead lying in front, and some of them, with hats in hand, brought in one of our dead officers from behind their trench, so that we could bury him decently.

The peace did not hold, of course. It would take four years for the war to come to its proper end. From Fussell—one more time: 

“On the Fourth Army front, at two minutes to eleven, a machine gun, about 200 yards from the leading British troops, fired off a complete belt without a pause. A single machine-gunner was then seen to stand up beside his weapon, take off his helmet, bow, and turning about walk slowly to the rear.”



And of course, even as this “war to end all wars" was ending (but without ending war), another generation was springing up—"daisies amongst the concrete." Here are just a few of the names in that register: Julio Cortazar (b. 1914), John Fitzgerald Kennedy (b. 1917), Alan Lomax (b. 1915), Billie Holliday (b. 1915), Saul Bellow (b. 1915), Francis Crick (b. 1915), Harold Wilson (b. 1916), Thelonious Monk (b. 1917), Spike Milligan (b. 1918), Anwar Sadat (b. 1918), Nelson Mandela (b. 1918). Which makes me think: when those of my generation place their centennial flag in the ground in 2084, 2085, 2086, and 2087—and hello, future you! Do you have flying cars yet? And if so, are they in rock bands with other flying cars?—it would be nice to bow out amongst our grandchildren knowing we stood tall enough to catch the lessons of the past—those things that threatened to entropy—and hand off a better past, that we made Walt Whitman’s job global, that every atom in me really did end up belonging to you, that we figured out how to do niceness and happiness in a smart, new, warm and lively way, that we fined experts a nickel when they used the phrase, “The world has become increasingly complex” and figured they’d done their analytical job for the day, that we did not shirk the serious, that we did justice to the particulars that marked Harry’s life, Claude’s life, Florence’s life, Frank’s life, Lazare’s life, John’s life or anyone else’s, because we don’t have to look for one-to-one particulars—and we don’t have to bray on about the responsibility of memory either (enough people have) but we just can’t walk underneath a sky as blue as this, as nice as this, and as sweet as this without nodding towards time’s cavernous past, too.

Harry Patch begins his autobiography with a question—“Why me?”—and ends it like this:

Can you imagine how it feels to be one of the last ones? Always hearing that another has just died, then another and another, waiting to hear who’s gone and always wondering if you’re next. Well, if they’ve written the obituary, all I can say is that I hope to live long enough that they will have to update it, and more than once! Then I can fade away. Isn’t that what old soldiers are meant to do?
Not quite. Not yet.


http://www.theawl.com/2011/05/the-last-two-veterans-of-wwi
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Mrt 2012 18:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Le 11 novembre : journée commémorative de tous les morts pour la France
Quote:
Le 11 novembre devient le jour de recueillement, de souvenir et de commémoration de tous ceux qui ont fait pour la France le sacrifice de leur vie. La loi fixant au 11 novembre la commémoration de tous les morts pour la France a été publiée au Journal officiel du 29 février 2012.

Le 11 novembre, journée anniversaire de l’armistice de 1918, deviendra la journée de commémoration annuelle de tous les morts pour la France.

Outre les victimes de la Grande Guerre, il est rendu hommage à tous les morts pour la France, qu’ils soient civils ou militaires, qu’ils aient péri dans des conflits actuels ou des conflits anciens.

Notamment "ceux qui sont tombés en Indochine, à Suez, en Afrique du Nord, mais aussi dans les Balkans, au Moyen-Orient, au Tchad, en Côte d’Ivoire, en Afghanistan", déclarait le président de la République, Nicolas Sarkozy, le 11 novembre 2011.

Le nom du défunt est obligatoirement inscrit sur le monument aux morts de sa commune de naissance ou de dernière domiciliation ou sur une stèle placée dans l’environnement immédiat de ce monument. L’ensemble du territoire de la République est concerné.

"La demande d’inscription est adressée au maire de la commune choisie par la famille ou, à défaut, par les autorités militaires, les élus nationaux, les élus locaux, l’Office national des anciens combattants et victimes de guerre par l’intermédiaire de ses services départementaux ou les associations d’anciens combattants et patriotiques ayant intérêt à agir", précise la loi n°2012-273 du 28 février 2012 fixant au 11 novembre la commémoration de tous les morts pour la France.

http://www.acturank.com/article11103.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Apr 2012 16:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Battle of the Somme, WWI 1914-1918

Mooie blog:
http://davemeehan.com/life/the-battle-of-the-somme-wwi-1914-1918
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Apr 2012 17:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Leven en dood van woorden
Quote:

Welke woorden we gebruiken is sterk aan mode onderhevig. Google Books maakt dat goed duidelijk.

Wanneer begon de mensheid te spreken over de Eerste Wereldoorlog? Niet in 1914 toen die oorlog begon. Ook niet in 1918 toen hij was afgelopen. Alle strijdende partijen hadden het toen over de 'Grote Oorlog', omdat niemand zich kon voorstellen dat je een nog bloedigere oorlog kon hebben. Pas in 1941, terwijl de wereld was verwikkeld in een nieuwe verschrikkelijke strijd, werd de term 'Eerste Wereldoorlog' voor het eerst in een boek geschreven.

Dat weten we dankzij onderzoek van wiskundige Jean-Baptiste Michel van de universiteit van Harvard. Hij gebruikte Google Books om trends in Engelstalig woordgebruiktijdens de negentiende en twintigste eeuw bloot te leggen. Google Books bevat 15 miljoen boeken; 5 miljoen daarvan zijn in hun geheel te lezen. Michel ploegde met speciale software deze boeken door op zoek naar patronen in woordfrequentie

Lees verder:
http://www.metronieuws.nl/plus/leven-en-dood-van-woorden/BjYlcf!bGqbECNmRDCDbsbW7zo6EA/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Apr 2012 20:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Letter from a lost soldier

Quote:
When you move house — really move I mean: garage sale, auction, innumerable trips to the dump, massive book culling, the full catastrophe — you encounter, slowly and over the months of gradually diminishing disruption, two contradictory results. One is you find things that you hadn't seen for ages or scarcely knew you possessed, and the other is you lose things, sometimes, it would seem, forever.
Probably because Anzac Day was looming, I became aware a week or so ago that I had not seen anywhere a framed photograph of my grandfather, Alexander Murray.
He gazes out from an ornate, scrolled oval frame with a gentle slightly bemused look to him. The face is thin, boyish and overshadowed by the too large military cap. On either side of the portrait hang his medals on faded ribbon and beneath is a citation in which futility grapples with dignity:
He whom this scroll commemorates was numbered among those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of self sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten.
Alex married 21-year-old Annie Carroll, a slim, dark, Irish immigrant, in Glasgow and they lived in Glasgow's grim slum, the Gorbals, where, in due course, their two sons and two daughters were born. Alex was planning to take his impoverished but close and happy family to Canada or Australia when, with bewildering urgency, he became 17051 Private Alexander Murray, Driver, Army Service Corps, and, after some training, went to France.
By the beginning of 1918, Alex was surviving but shattered in spirit. 'My dearest Ann,' he wrote:
... leave is still stopped, but when it starts I shall get away on leave, it is hard lines. My dearest Ann, if it is not too much trouble you might send me on a small parcel and when I do come home I shall give you as much money as I can. I wish this war was finished for I am fed up. My dear Ann, you and the children try to be as cheery as you can. I feel all buggered up but I shall just have to carry on the best way I can ...
We are not on the same front now, we are on another front and it is actually hell. I could tell you more but this letter might be opened ... I remain your ever loving husband, Alex.
Who knows what ambiguous solace Annie could derive from Alex's letter, but if it gave her hope at the beginning of April 1918, that hope was soon lost. A month later she received this letter from the Reverend P. J. Kilduff:
Madam, I regret to inform you that your husband 17051 Pte A. Murray 1/6 Duke of Wellington's was admitted to No. 10 Casualty Clearing Station last week suffering from shell wounds to head and chest, and that he died on 28 April. He received the sacraments during his illness, and was very resigned and patient.
He desired me to say that he sent his love to you and the children. He was interred on 29 April in the local military cemetery according to the rites of the Catholic Church. I beg to offer you and your family my sincere sympathy in your sad bereavement.
Of course, neither Alex nor the Reverend Kilduff could mention any specific location in their letters, so no one — least of all Annie after she had migrated in 1920 to Australia to begin 50 years of widowhood — had any idea where that 'local military cemetery' might be.
Working at the University of London 75 years later, with access to records, war histories and experts willing to discuss my theories, I eventually decided that when Alex moved to 'another front' he must have been part of the immense concentration near Ypres where the fighting in those last months of the war was 'actually hell'.
I presented my research, such as it was, to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Buckinghamshire and — they found him. In a small British War cemetery just outside the village of Arnèke near the Belgian border and a few kilometres from Ieper, as Ypres is now called.
17051 Private Alexander Murray's meticulously tended grave is over near one of the cemetery's low stone walls. Cypresses cast their shade across some of the white headstones and tall corn crowding up to the walls briskly rattled in the breeze. Bees lazed through the lavender nodding across Alex's engraved name; summer sun radiated from the stone.
My wife and I signed the visitors' book, took photos to show the family and, in a nondescript bar back in the village of Arnèke, held a small, long-overdue wake for my grandfather, Alexander Murray. It was as if we knew him at last, as if he had struggled home ('My dearest Ann ... I shall get away on leave') years too late, with no one to meet him, but home nevertheless, home from his 'actual hell'.


Brian Matthews is the award winning author of A Fine and Private Place and The Temple Down the Road. He was awarded the 2010 National Biography Award for Manning Clark — A Life.
http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=31072
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Jun 2012 13:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote


Warship Kaiser on which Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany came to Istanbul]
En meer leuks uit de periode voor 1914
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001699681/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Jul 2012 13:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Osmaanse sporen in Gallipoli
http://meltemhalaceli.blogspot.nl/2012/06/osmaanse-sporen-in-gallipoli.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Aug 2012 11:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie site om te volgen
http://advanderzee.com/tag/eerste-wereldoorlog/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Sep 2012 11:28    Onderwerp: London and Londoners in the First World War Reageer met quote

Hundreds of thousands of Londoners fought in the Great War, many thousands died. Millions more lived through the war in Britain’s capital city.

This blog shines a light on the war experiences of the city as a whole, communities and areas in it, and individual people and families.

It highlights events big and small, people ordinary or famous, interesting facts about the war, memorials and other places you can visit.

http://greatwarlondon.wordpress.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Okt 2012 15:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere.

With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to the war, when seemingly minor moments of friction accumulated until the situation was ready to explode. He’ll be covering those events 100 years after they occurred.


http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/105791
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Nov 2012 21:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

WW1 World War One Ieper 1917

http://ww1ieper1917.wordpress.com/

The 3rd Worcestershire Battalion Ieper Flanders 1917
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BerichtGeplaatst: 14 Nov 2012 15:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Op 5 april 1914 speelde het Duitse voetbalelftal in Amsterdam tegen Oranje tijdens de opening van Het Stadion, het eerste nationale sportstadion van ons land. Het bleek later de laatste officiële wedstrijd van Duitsland te zijn voordat de Eerste Wereldoorlog uitbrak.

Lees verder:
http://www.sportgeschiedenis.nl/2012/11/12/nederland---duitsland-in-1923.aspx
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Nov 2012 0:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

An officer and a gentleman
Quote:
Lieutenant George Chrystal died aged 29 in the Second Battle of Ypres
That he was an only son, elder brother of four sisters living in Edwardian comfort at Bloomhill House at Cardross. That he was a territorial soldier sent to France as a lieutenant in the 1/9th (Dumbartonshire) Battalion, Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders, following Germany's attack on Belgium in August 1914. That he was an Oxford graduate, an eligible bachelor, a not excessively martial but dutiful part-time officer.

We know he was killed aged 29, perhaps by one of the Western Front's first gas attacks, somewhere in the woods near Bellewaarde Lake at the end of the Second Battle of Ypres, on May 25, 1915. We don't know – and never will – where Geo (pronounced Joe) is buried, or even if he was. We do know his name is on panel 42 on the Menin Gate at Ypres.

We also have his letters, preserved in a tan leather folder by my great-grandmother who, like so many widows, never recovered from his loss. She retired to darkened rooms, imposing his ghost on her too-young grandchildren in a manner considered morbid by some contemporaries.

Geo's niece, my aunt Mary, born within a decade of the Armistice in 1918, has lived with his heroic absence since childhood. I have been editing his letters, and planning a disabled ex-servicemen's housing project at Bloomhill in his memory. With Remembrance Sunday approaching, we felt a visit to Ypres – Ieper as its Flemish-speaking residents prefer – was an overdue gesture to Geo, our way of showing he was still remembered, even loved, in an abstract way.

On the BMI flight from Edinburgh to Brussels we perused the collection of 40 neatly written letters and postcards to "Moth and Fa", dating from August 17, 1914, when Geo left from Stirling for training at Bedford, transferring to France in February 1915, then to the bulge in the Flanders front line known as the Ypres Salient.

The letters reveal Geo to be a conscientious leader to "the men", mostly industrial workers from Dumbarton and Clydebank. Apart from in the heat of battle, officers, of course, had it relatively easy. To contemporary ears there is a touch of Blackadder Goes Forth in his repeated thanks for the pheasants, port, champagne, haggis, chocolate, "toffee biscuits", hard-boiled eggs and other luxuries with which he was showered by family and friends: "I got the shirt, towels and woolly slippers, which are splendid for wearing in the evening". There is a surreal contrast between these comforts and Geo's life in the mud of Flanders. For all their privileges, officers – including Geo's battalion commander, Colonel James Clark, an Edinburgh barrister – were mown down and gassed as efficiently as other ranks, 431 officers in the Argylls alone.

Geo was neither jingoistic nor a disillusioned critic of the futility of it all (he didn't live long enough). His letters home remain heroically jaunty: "It is the German custom to give the British troops who relieve the French a pretty warm reception – we certainly came in for it this time"; "nothing much to do thro' the day, & trench digging by night - nothing to grouse about".

Geo's sanitised accounts could not disguise the darkening awareness of a new kind of war, one that revealed itself with massive casualties from the bombardment and gassing. The Imperial War Museum describes the Second Battle of Ypres, in which 105,000 died in the only major German offensive of 1915, as "particularly brutal and savage, fought in anger and without compassion or quarter". Geo calls it "a horrible business altogether, which one has to do one's best to forget".

"Dear Moth" he writes on May 12, two days after 300 men and 12 brother officers were killed, "I am so sorry I haven't been able to write sooner & hope you have not been very much worried. The scrapping here has been too strenuous for the post to go with any regularity. I'm afraid you will gather from the casualty lists what a tough time we have had. It really has been awful, but I think & hope that the worst of the business as far as we're concerned is now over & that there is a chance of us being relieved quite soon."

We were based at Ieper's central Novotel Hotel. There, we brought order to the scraps of information accrued over the decades, fitting mental pictures to some charged words: Hill 60, Langemark, St Julien, Kitchener's Wood.

The Flanders government is planning a series of events to mark the centenary of the start of the "war to end all wars" in October 2014, honouring the generation whose grip on the collective conscience seems only to strengthen. Flanders is investing €50m in anticipation of a 30-40% increase in the annual 350,000 "peace tourists".

Visits to the battlefields are now the stuff of routine school trips – maybe compulsory ones, according to a recent suggestion by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, though neither my aunt nor I had ever been on a battlefield tour.

Centred on the Grote Markt, Wipers (as Commonwealth troops called it) was flattened by repeated bombardment while Geo was at the front, images of its smashed carcass having the same impact on his generation as those of Hiroshima did a generation later.

Modern Ieper has reconstructed Gothic architecture, ancient fortifications and attractions such as the Belle Almshouse Museum and Merghelynck Hotel-Museum, which recall centuries as a prosperous medieval trading hub. But the intensity of fighting in 1914-18 (there were five separate Battles of Ypres) mean it is fated to be the hub of the battlefield tourist trail following the line of trenches stretching 450 miles to the France-Switzerland border.

The medieval Cloth Hall, or rather the reconstruction made at German expense in the 1920s, still dominates the town, and holds the In Flanders Fields Museum, the best starting point to any visit.

According to the letters, Geo and his men were billeted in the relative comfort of a "sort of nunnery", until it was blown to bits. He expressed a rueful affection for Wipers. "I don't fancy we shall be billeted there again," he writes. "It is a pity – life there was comparatively civilised, and there was quite a decent 'coiffeur' if one cared to wait 2 hours for a haircut. I haven't had my clothes or boots off, nor had a shave for over a week & we are a dirty looking crew."

Nowadays the knowledge that German resentment over reparations helped cause the Second World War casts a shadow on the placid, brick-built town, but its recovery has a more uplifting message, best contemplated in the autumnal early-morning light along the 17th-century ramparts, now a kind of circular park.

I won't easily forget coming across the clean, pale ranked gravestones of the Ramparts Cemetery by the Lille Gate on an early-morning jog; impeccably kept, like all Commonwealth War cemeteries, its lawn sloping down to the moat.

A similar emotional punch was the first sight of the Menin Gate, built over the road along which men marched to the Front. Caught in the evening sunlight, this stretched neo-Classical arch, grand but not pompous, was built in 1921 by Sir Reginald Blomfield, the Elgar of Edwardian architecture. It contains the names of the 55,000 Commonwealth soldiers who have no known grave. We returned for the Last Post – a bugle ceremony held at 8pm every night since 1928 which attracts huge crowds, especially around Armistice Day. It was easier than expected to find Geo's name under the Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders: Lieutenant GG Chrystal. We slipped a Scottish poppy into a groove in the masonry.

That day we had spent the afternoon with Lest We Forget Tours, one of several companies specialising in battlefield tours. It is hard to conceive of a better one than this, led by a former Royal Tank Regiment NCO, Chris Lock. A Flemish speaker who has lived here for years, Lock has an intimate knowledge of the battles and deftly improvised a trip tailored to what I was able to tell him of Uncle Geo's service and death.

Lock had a dramatic, empathetic way of bringing the action to life, and of transporting us imaginatively as well as literally to the field of battle. Lock is accustomed to elderly visitors and, conscious of my aunt's advanced age, he took us to the Essex Farm Dressing Station, on the Yser Canal, one focus of the Second Battle of Ypres (April-May 1915) and a good guess as to where Geo met his end. It was the final phase of a battle that started in panic following the German release of chlorine gas, the first time chemical weapons were used on the Western Front. "We had a little taste of the 'poisonous gas' business," Geo writes home on May 18, "and one or two men were laid out by it. We all had to wear wet respirators" – wet with urine, he doesn't add – "which are some protection against it – even the little we had made one's eyes very sore."

The only good thing to be said about the decimation of the 1/9 Battalion Argylls at the end of this battle was that they were spared its sequel, better known as Passchendaele, two years later (June-November 1917). Geo's battle, although one of the bloodiest of the war, was at least short.

The muddy carnage of Passchendaele ranks with the Somme (July-November 1916) as a symbol of futility. A short drive from Ypres lies the flint-walled Tyne Cot ceremony, with its 35,000 graves, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, next to it a sleek modernist visitor centre commanding the crest of the gentle rise for which so many lives were lost.

Passchendaele's story is told in a museum in the village of Zonnebeke a few miles from Ypres. Here, the basement is a recreation of a dugout, the wooden-walled underground complexes, infested with rats, in which men lived for months.

The horror these interpretative centres conjure up contrasts with the flat, quiet, timeless Flanders countryside and its dead-straight, tree-lined roads running between the boxy red-brick farms and hamlets.

In a letter written three weeks before his death, Geo takes note of this surreal contrast between serenity and violence. "There's really no news that I'm allowed to give so I will stop. It must be lovely at home just now, we all get beastly homesick at times and the spring seems to make it worse. This wood is a queer mixture of green leaves, violets, nightingales and shells – but we might be much worse off than where we are."

His last letter, dated May 23, two days before his death, is brief and bland, thanking his mother for the "shaving tackle of a very superior kind! And also a mixed lot of eatables & cigarettes which arrived today + clean shirts, socks etc - I'll write again as soon as poss."

The story of what then happened in that wood is taken up in a surviving soldier's record, displayed in the Argylls' regimental museum at Stirling Castle. "We were up against overwhelming odds for days, the Germans were trying to break our lines. The 9th kept up a brisk rate of fire on the advancing Germans who lost a terrible amount of men but we ourselves lost heavily. The wood was raked by shelling which seemed to scorch every yard of it - trees were smashed like matches. When the shelling ceased hardly a tree remained standing, all was a jumble of broken timber beneath which lay dead men, broken rifles, equipment and torn sandbags."

Reading the letters of one of those long-dead men, close to where they were written, cuts through the intervening 100 years. Never consciously heroic, Geo might be surprised – and gratified – at the enduring potency of his and his comrades' deaths. Or rather of the lives they didn't get to live. n

http://www.heraldscotland.com/life-style/outdoorsleisure/an-officer-and-a-gentleman.1352516672
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2012 13:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ACROSS THE RIVER
Dear Visitor,
welcome to World War I Bridges, an Italy-based "radar" of what is moving around the Great War (books, movies, artists, web resources, digital projects, places, battlefield itineraries, museums, exhibitions, events and other initiatives) and the upcoming centenary. The armies used to explode the bridges in war operations. We now try to build new bridges on the eve of the WWI centenary from Maserada sul Piave, a small Italian village along the Piave River.
Thanks!


http://wwiindex.blogspot.nl/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Jan 2013 21:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

How to Follow Along with Our WWI Trip

Later tonight twelve Bethel University students, my colleague Sam, and I will be flying off to London to start our three-week adventure studying the history of the First World War on location in England, Belgium, France, and Germany.

http://pietistschoolman.com/2013/01/03/how-to-follow-along-with-our-wwi-trip/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Jan 2013 22:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Letters home from Harold Skilling who served in the 5th Field Ambulance Corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. He was wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and was invalided to England. He retrained with The Royal Flying Corps but the war was over before he could fly any missions.

http://www.haroldskillingslettersfromww1.blogspot.nl/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Apr 2013 14:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://blog.forces-war-records.co.uk/category/picture-of-the-day/
FORCES WAR RECORDS
The definitive location for military genealogy records from WW2, WW1, Boer War, Crimean War and beyond.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Apr 2013 11:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Peterborough, Ontario during the First World War 1914 - 1918.

The aim of this website is to commemorate the involvement of local residents from Peterborough, Ontario and surrounding rural towns during Great War. In the span of 4 years, the small industrial city of Peterborough, located in central Ontario lost 626 young men and several nursing sisters during the combat of the Great War

http://ptbowwi.blogspot.ca/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2013 11:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

in the footsteps of Private 12813 Frederick (Fred) Peter May who served in the 11th Australian Field Ambulance

Quote:
For his actions on 11th October 1917 and the four days thereafter, Private Frederick Peter May was awarded the Military Medal (MM), his citation reads: -

“From noon 11th October 1917, east of YPRES, this man worked continuously day and night for four days. He carried men from the most Advanced Regimental Aid Post under exceptionally heavy shell fire and very tiring conditions (the mud being frequently up to his waist). Although almost exhausted by his very heavy work he insisted on carrying on with his duties until all the wounded were clear. The splendid example and dauntless courage of this man nerved his tired comrades to fresh efforts. He showed complete disregard for his own safety, and after being thrown down by an exploding shell, struggled on with his patient to a place of safety.”

http://www.inthefootsteps.com/blog/tag/passchendale/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Mei 2013 6:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Roads to the Great War

http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.be/


Roads to the Great War is part of the Worldwar1.com (link) family of websites and periodicals. It is produced by an editorial team that has been growing for over a decade that includes: Michael Hanlon, Kimball Worcester, David Beer, Tony Langley, Donna Wagner, and Diane Rooney. We will also be inviting other WWI historians, enthusiasts, and collectors to contribute to Roads.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Jul 2013 15:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

24 General Hospital – Great War Society

24 General Hospital is one of the living history units that forms the Great War Society (http://www.thegreatwarsociety.com/). We can only hope to demonstrate a small portion of the Army Medical Service’s work during the Great War. However, in doing so we hope to both pay tribute to the achievements of 24 General Hospital and the medical services, educate the general public and to remember the sacrifices of all those involved in the war.

http://thegreatwarsocietyhospital.wordpress.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Jul 2013 14:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

MY GREAT WAR / MIJN GROOTE OORLOG
2014-18 – stories on the centenary / berichten over de herdenking

http://mygreatwar.com/about/this-blog/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Sep 2013 21:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Emanuel School at War
This blog details the history of Emanuel School (Battersea) alumni who served in the First and Second World Wars. Over 1600 Emanuel boys served in the First and Second World Wars. 145 are known to have lost their lives in the First and 94 in the Second World War.


http://emanuelschoolatwar.wordpress.com/
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Okt 2013 12:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Roads to the Great War
Arts-Literature-reflection

Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.

Edward Thomas, Roads


http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.nl/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2013 23:04    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Letters from the trenches

A book about those who saw it all during the First World War ... and wrote it down in their letters

http://soldierletters.blogspot.co.uk/
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
http://nl.escertico.wikia.com/wiki/Militaria_Wiki
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jan 2014 21:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

10 SURPRISING LAWS PASSED DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR

The outbreak of war in 1914 brought many new rules and regulations to Britain. The most important of these was the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), passed on 8 August 1914 ‘for securing public safety’.

DORA gave the government the power to prosecute anybody whose actions were deemed to ‘jeopardise the success of the operations of His Majesty’s forces or to assist the enemy’. This gave the act a very wide interpretation. It regulated virtually every aspect of the British home front and was expanded as the war went on.

Here are a few of the surprising measures introduced by DORA - some of which still affect life in Britain today.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/10-surprising-laws-passed-during-the-first-world-war
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Jul 2014 15:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

prachtige blog met een massa privé foto's

First World War Commemoration Site Ettlingen, Germany
Welcome to our centenary site to commemorate those who fought in the Great War of 1914-1918 from the town of Ettlingen in Baden, Germany. In cooperation with the Stadtarchiv Ettlingen and the people of Ettlingen. (Gedenkseite - Erster Weltkrieg Ettlingen)


http://www.ettlingenww1.blogspot.de/
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
http://nl.escertico.wikia.com/wiki/Militaria_Wiki
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Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Jul 2014 17:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Turkije in WW I:

https://twitter.com/TurkeyinWW1
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
http://nl.escertico.wikia.com/wiki/Militaria_Wiki
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Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Jul 2014 16:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

IT IS NOTHING

Quote:
But one single bullet, from barrel to throat,
Choked and opened the wounds of the world,
Unfurled in the seat of a phaeton,
Played on like the most tragic of tragedies,
Greek in essence but eastern in substance,
As Sophie wilts in the lap of Austria,
The blood racing fast to the carriage beneath,
It is nothing, he repeats, until the death knell chimes,
A single shot through the heart of a continent,
Signals the start of relentless war lines.

Pour forth these men, to the scars of the earth,
Deep as the river, but flowing with blood,
Buried in the lands of no man’s choosing,
The losing of souls now but courses to follow,
Do not wallow and weep, cheap the sacrifice made,
A cascade over mountains of wire and mud,
Falling gracelessly, endlessly, faceless the flood,
Rot in graves dug by Lyddite, the sight of these men
But the relics of conflict, fragments of then;
It is nothing, repeated, there is nothing to stem.

Man and metal befriend, cross the boundaries encased,
The race is irrelevant, shrapnel cares not who it cuts
And at the slightest of touches, ceases the breath,
Death is plentiful, served up with little rebuff,
On a platter of hate, a dish served so cold,
Old and meaningless now, for one hundred long years
Has left nothing but shrines, a fragment of bone,
Unknown soldiers sleep restlessly in misplaced graves,
Marched to battle so recklessly into certain mayhem;
It is nothing, they said, it is nothing for them.

From beginning to end, but a bullet the cause,
A fragment of earth, cast to form, loaded fast,
Took a moment of madness, a split second passed,
But a single voice silenced, saw a violence unbound,
Like a plague it advanced across bridges and borders,
Absorbed cultures and creatures, bodies and blood,
Buried thick in the mud under poppy strewn fields,
And the final cessation of nine million men,
Yet the final words uttered by the source of this rend;
It is nothing, he whispered, over, over again.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin
http://simonaustinpoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/it-is-nothing/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Aug 2014 20:00    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

August Bank Holiday, Essex, 1914

To Essex then, one hundred years ago
to sun-scorched, dusty fields and parched stream beds.
Where windfall codlings pock the russet earth,
September’s fruits come early, and to waste.

At Boreham Reverend Yonge mops cobs of sweat
and begs his guv’nor for a dose of rain
as horticultural ladies trim their blooms,
they nip and bud and dream of red rosettes.

Down Thaxted way, the labourers are striking
it’s coming up for forty wage-less days.
They roam the country lanes in search of scabs,
as Pankhurst comes, the red flag on her car.

The trains are packed from third right through to first,
the coastal steamers coat the blue sky white
as Britain leaves her heartlands for her shore.
From Romford, Dagenham and Tilbury

near forty-thousand, swap the clock for sand.
The boarding houses with their lists of rules
and their fearsome landladies bulge, although
it’s quieter than last year. They know why.

There’s something colder building in the air:
in Chelmsford they can talk of nothing else,
the newsagents are desperate for vendors,
the tittle-tattle’s milled right through the night.

Until on Tuesday, everybody knows.
In Southend hundreds gather at the Standard
to read the words they posted in the window.
The tiny wives, umbrellaed by their men.

We’re twenty-one today, we’ll make the Kaiser pay
The regulars demob down Mersea Road
while Reverend Yonge in Boreham writes in black:
Bella horrida bella… smite, hell, ruin.

http://www.lukewright.co.uk/august-bank-holiday-essex-1914/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Aug 2014 9:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A history of the First World War in one hundred blogs !

https://roberthorvat30.wordpress.com/tag/first-world-war/
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
http://nl.escertico.wikia.com/wiki/Militaria_Wiki
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Aug 2014 21:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

GREAT WAR LIVES LOST

We died 100 years ago in the War to end all Wars

This blog is dedicated to and will tell the story of the men and women of Great Britain and her colonies and other Commonwealth countries who gave their lives fighting for freedom in the Great War of 1914 to 1918, also now known as World War I.

This is the story of the parents who gave their lives to God and the parents who gave their lives to their King and country and then lost their sons and daughters to the war fought for that God and King and country.

It is the story of Princes and paupers, brothers and sisters, hero’s and supposed cowards They all have one thing in common – they did not survive the Great War, the conflict described by H G Wells as “The war to end war”.Every death is a personal and family tragedy.

The uniformity of the many thousands of headstones in cemeteries has something impersonal about it. All of these identical grave markers in a way make it hard to fully realize that each headstone and memorial represents a unique person, with his or her own personality, history, social and familial background, every story representing a different tragedy.

Men whose sons will be killed in the Second World War
Generals and sons of Generals
Clergymen and sons of clergymen
Fathers and sons who will both be killed
Members of the Peerage and Knights and their sons
Brothers killed together and those killed miles and years apart
Those killed by enemy action, those killed accidentally, those who died of illness and those killed by their comrades
And many more
Starting this August 2014 we will provide daily the names and personal histories of those who one hundred years ago on that day lost their lives as a result of the tragedy now called the First World War. We will give you historical perspective of what was going on at the time but this is the story of those who did not live out their lives naturally as a result of the Great War.

http://greatwarliveslost.wordpress.com/
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
http://nl.escertico.wikia.com/wiki/Militaria_Wiki
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Nov 2014 19:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

NOLA MACKEY notes on history

WORLD WAR I – BEHIND ENEMY LINES.- THE DRUMMOND SISTERS- 1.

I have been blogging about some of our family heroes, on http://nolamackey.wordpress.com/ which I will continue to do.

However, I’m really ‘into’ the local history of the Clarence River District, in northern New South Wales. Although we have no family connections here, I have been researching, collecting documents, and writing about the area now for nearly fifty years and have published numerous books.

I now plan to share some of my huge collection, starting with some stories from women’s perspective, concerning World War I.

Today I am introducing a new blog topic, which I plan to present as a serial, over the next few weeks or so.

This is the story of two sisters, the youngest daughters of James and Ann Drummond (nee Cameron), Ruth Janet Drummond, known as ‘Lute’, who was born in 1879, and her younger sister, Jean Cameron Drummond, born 1881.

http://nolamackey2.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/world-war-i-behind-enemy-lines-the-drummond-sisters-1/
_________________
"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae"
"Van hen(de Galliërs) allemaal zijn de Belgen de dappersten"
Julius Caesar(100 VC - 44 VC)
http://nl.escertico.wikia.com/wiki/Militaria_Wiki
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Jul 2015 19:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Sur la piste du commandant Barberot : Saint-Jean d’Ormont

Je commence mon arrivée à Nancy en train, où je récupère une voiture. Mon premier objectif est de rejoindre la vallée du Hure, Saint-Jean d’Ormont puis le site de la cote 627 – La Fontenelle. Comme la fois précédente, je suis frappé sur la route de la « platitude du parcours » vers Saint-Dié. On comprends qu’en 1914, la défense des cols vosgiens ait pu être vital pour éviter que les Allemands ne débouchent ici aussi, alors que s’engageait la bataille de la Marne. Juste avant Saint-Dié, après avoir passé Etival (où j’apercevrais au retour, en bord de nationale, le château qui servit de repos au bataillon Barberot, après les combats éprouvant de la cote 627 en février – mars 1915), le début du véritable parcours commence. Une sortie à droite et le paysage change aussitôt

Lees verder:
http://barberot.vanmastrigt.eu/sur-la-piste-du-commandant-barberot-saint-jean-dormont-15/#more-2330
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