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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Nov 2008 10:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Side by side they fell
Tom Farrell

Published 06 November 2008

Amid the war graves of Belgium, Tom Farrell finds a family story tangled up with the birth of modern Ireland

In Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks's elegiac novel of the Great War, the protagonist Lieutenant Stephen Wraysford muses to a fellow officer: "There are your sewer rats in their holes three feet wide crawling underground. There are my men going mad under shells. We hear nothing from our commanding officer . . . This is not a war, this is an exploration of how far men can be degraded. I am deeply curious to see how further it can be taken. I want to know. I believe it has barely started."

Miners in peacetime, the "sewer rats" are described shovelling out galleries under German positions that would be loaded with explosives, timed to detonate before an attack.

Our guide read Faulks's description aloud as we trudged across the Messines Ridge to the old crater at Spanbroekmolen, on the Ypres Salient. When the mines detonated, 15 seconds after 3.10 am on 7 June 1917, with possibly the loudest man-made boom in history, around 10,000 German soldiers were killed in the instant of the explosion.

It was 29 September 2008, exactly 90 years to the day that my great-grandfather, James Murphy, was killed and I had earlier been to his tombstone at Hooge Crater Cemetery. A private in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers 1st Battalion, his body was moved to Hooge in the summer of 1919, having been buried where he fell just east of Gheluvelt, a village just outside present- day Ypres (or Ieper).

The hotel at which I awoke that morning is a reconstruction of the old Hooge chateau. A day before Private Murphy's death, what little remained of it was retaken from the Germans by the 29th Division and the 9th (Scottish) Division. Belgian atrocity posters hung in the lobby and the recruiting fingers of Lord Kitchener and Uncle Sam pointed at me over breakfast.

Hooge is noted as the place where the Germans first made a concerted use of flame-throwers in July 1915 (it had already been attempted at Verdun) and its cemetery, designed by Edwin Lutyens, takes its name from the mine crater gouged out by the British that same month.

James Murphy's grave was 20 rows from the rear. To the right of his tombstone were those of the two men whose bodies, an email from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Maidenhead informed me, were found with his at Gheluvelt. The two to his left, like 3,600 of the nearly 6,000 graves at Hooge Crater, were "Known Unto God".

I had come with little personal information about him, not even a photograph. My own grandfather's recollections were scant; he lost his father when he was just short of eight years old and his mother remarried in the early 1920s. There was another reason, too. For decades, having a Great War veteran in the family held a certain stigma. Some 35,000 Irishmen perished in the 1914-18 war; in an island of about three million, this was proportionately a devastating toll.

But these men wore the uniform of the same army that had pumped bullets into the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916 and killed hundreds retaking Dublin. It was largely English veterans of the Great War who made up the ranks of the Essex Regiment and even more notoriously, the Auxiliaries and Black and Tans during the 1919-21 War of Independence.

Every schoolchild knew the British soldier to be a murderous thug, especially after much of his quarry went on to take seats in the Dublin parliament. And of course, the eruption of sectarian warfare in Ulster was taken as further reason to see Irish involvement in the war as ignoble. Only half-jokingly was I once called a "traitor" in school when I let it be known I was the descendent of a Royal Dublin Fusilier.

Yet southern Catholic and Ulster Protestant regiments fought alongside each other at Messines on that grim morning in 1917. The 15-seconds delay in detonating the mines cost many lives among the 36th Ulster Division, whose soldiers emerged from their trenches too early. The Ulstermen fought in tandem with the 16th Irish Division, including my great-grandfather's regiment, as it advanced on the village of Wytschaete.

Many Irishmen joined up believing, as did the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, John Redmond, that it would hasten Home Rule. But the Great War destroyed Redmond and his party: his own brother Willie, a captain in the Royal Irish Regiment, was cut down within minutes of going over the top that morning. Willie Redmond had even opined that a non-sectarian identity might be forged in the shared adversity of the trenches.

Both communities had been arming themselves before 1914 and, after nearly nine decades of partition, the idea now seems shockingly naive. The contradiction of those years was personified by the County Meath-born poet Francis Ledwidge, killed near the village of Boezinge in July 1917. He wrote his elegy for the executed Easter Rising leader Thomas McDonagh while serving in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Modern-day Ypres, dominated by the immense 13th-century Cloth Hall, derives a good deal of its revenue from war tourism. "Wipers", as many a Tommy dubbed it, was pulverised in the war and rebuilt with German reparations.

I stopped by the Menin Gate memorial, a triumphal arch opened in 1927 where at 8pm every day the "Last Post" sounds within its barrel-vaulted passage. I heard the mingling of Australian, Canadian and Scottish accents as my eyes scanned the names of nearly 55,000 missing men etched on its panels.

According to Steve Douglas, who owns the British Grenadier Bookshop and who runs battle field tours: "The baby boomers are retiring and have more time on their hands. They have an interest in finding out about what granddad did. Programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? and the fact that the First World War is on the curriculum in British schools; that generates a lot of interest, too."

While I was there, the "last fighting Tommy", 110-year old Harry Patch, a private in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry at Passchendaele, was at Menin Gate for the "Last Post". Very soon, the fighting experience of the Great War will be gone forever from human memory.

Politically, however, the war created our world; there is not a society today from the Atlantic to the Sea of Japan unmarked by it. And as I found researching my own family history, the mystery of an ever-retreating world makes it even more transfixing.

© http://www.newstatesman.com/books/2008/11/war-belgium-ireland-british
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Nov 2008 19:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Behind enemy lines: the German view of the First World War
An album of pictures taken by a German photographer on the front line in the First World War was just another item gathering dust in the attic to one British soldier's granddaughter. But looking more closely, she found it was an historical treasure

I'm embarrassed to admit that I never took much interest in the battered photograph album full of pictures of the First World War that I inherited years ago - even though, oddly, the photographs were taken by a German.

The album belonged to Brigadier-General John Gordon Geddes, my great uncle, who served, like my father and grandfather, in the Royal Artillery. In late March 1919, Geddes went to Nideggen, a picturesque Rhineland village near Düren.

He'd been told that an official war photographer lived in a cottage there and, although he seems not to have met the man, he went there and, as he put it, “ordered a lot as they were intensely interesting - they were taken this time last year, when the Boche attacked us. Many of them are taken around Cambrai and Havrincourt and concern the places where we made our attack in November 1917 on Cambrai.” He had never seen anything like them. Nor, it turns out, had the photography experts at the Imperial War Museum.

Geddes, as GOCRA (General Officer Commanding Royal Artillery) IV Army Corps, knew the area that is recorded in these photographs like the back of his hand. Every yard had been fought for and claimed by the British and their allies in the Somme offensive of 1916, only to fall back into German hands during the spring offensive of 1918.

By the time Geddes had retrieved the photographs, he had the satisfaction of knowing that the score had been settled. In September 1918 he was back in his old hut at the Grevillers headquarters.

My great-uncle, who remained at the Western Front from August 1914 until the end of the war, died in Sussex in August 1919, presumably in the flu epidemic. My father was at the Front from August 1915 onwards and later was awarded the Military Cross. He died when I was 20.

I was all too aware of the long shadow cast by his years at the Front (of which, of course, he never spoke) and have dealt with it ever since by avoidance - perhaps out of respect for his own reticence. The trigger for finally engaging with it was my realisation that our daughter is now the age he was when he left for France, 18. In my family the generations are long.

I knew from a stray postcard home that Geddes had visited his nephew's battery at the Front but the internet alerted me to his 14-volume diary in the archives at Woolwich Arsenal.

In the past 20 years I've published three biographies and spent countless hours reading handwritten letters, which always give startling immediacy to a subject. Now I was on home ground. I first found my father under the entry for August 3, 1915. “I was very interested to hear Bob is in A Battery 84th Brigade. It has just come under my command!”

For the next 18 months, until their paths diverged, Geddes kept a close eye on my father and often described his life and conditions. Reading it was like having the answers to the questions I might have asked my father had I ever had the opportunity.

My father, like Geddes, must have known many of the ravaged villages that the German photographer recorded. The year before, Geddes notes that the landscape, “though stricken”, is beginning to turn green again.

Viewing the backdrop on which the ghastly encounters of 1916 took place, he finds it already sprouting vegetation, though dotted everywhere with little white crosses, derelict tanks and inhabited by huge rats, feasting on the unburied dead.

The photographs show much of this, but by then the corpses have been buried, the weeds are higher and there are more crosses and makeshift cemeteries - ours as well as theirs. The album is, then, a kind of mirror to places and events described in my great-uncle's diary. Everything but the stench is recorded.

To help me to understand the photographs, and to gauge their significance, I took the album to Hilary Roberts in the photographic department of the Imperial War Museum. Expecting to be rebuffed - “we've seen all these before” - I was proved quite wrong. These are not fine photographs in terms of aesthetics, but their subject matter is intriguing and some of it highly unusual.

For that reason, Roberts thinks that they were probably the work of a unit photographer, possibly attached to the engineers, given his interest in everything mechanical. These were, she points out, photographs for record rather than propaganda. Their technical information and detail was useful for training - why else show a German NCO in close-up examining a British rifle? The photographer also had an eye for the novel - a descending British parachutist, Nissen huts and wrecked tanks caught his attention.

By the time these photographs were taken, Roberts pointed out, the unwritten etiquette that led official photographers on both sides to cover the faces of the dead or turn their bodies over had been forgotten. In the only such shot in the album, a British soldier faces the camera in the foreground and behind him lie the bloated corpses of several horses.

Some of his subjects are valuable records. The nameless photographer recorded the temporary German cemeteries, one dominated by an immense rustic arch. Within months it had gone - the French summarily demolished them.

Though most of the photographs record the triumphant German repossession of territory as they pushed back westwards once more, the last few images tell quite another story. Taken on November 4, they show the Kaiser handing out his last set of Iron Crosses and paying a farewell to his troops. He abdicated on November 9 and two days later the Armistice was signed. My father's 22nd birthday was the next day.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article5125964.ece
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Nov 2008 13:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooi:

End of autumn

Was out this afternoon tramping around the countryside out in the back of beyond way north of Paris, catching a few final glimpses of the end of Autumn. Almost all the leaves are down now, save for a few die-hard hangers on like this orange colored tree in the background, and there was a surprising last gasp of color in the hortensia here, well along the way to hibernation phase.
x
The hortensia was growing on a raised bed of ground at the far end of a military cemetery from the 1914-1918 conflict which was an ossuary containing the remains of some 1200 French soldiers. Adjacent to it in marked graves were another 5000 or so. This area north of Compiegne was the scene of terrible battles in 1918 near the end of the war. On the other side of the cemetery were buried close to 7000 Germans. The things we do to each other... it has only been 90 years since the end of that bloody business, but sadly the human race does not seem to have learned much from this madness or any of the other regular bouts of insanity that we apparently are helplessly addicted to as a race. Is that pessimistic? Not my intention... but you know, like this great song said :
.
Where have all the young men gone
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone
Gone to soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
.
Where have all the soldiers gone
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
.
Where have all the graveyards gone
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone
Gone to flowers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
.
.
If I'm not mistaken Pete Seeger wrote this one, what a timeless song... perfect for this photo...

Foto en © http://magiclanternshowen.blogspot.com/2008/11/end-of-autumn.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Nov 2008 13:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

For whom the poppies grow

“Such a great idea of yours to do this Rowena,” I said. For as long as I can remember G. and I have been talking about “going up to” Ypres – (or Ieper as its written here) to visit the war graves but had somehow never found the initiative. Armistice 2008 – ninety years after the end of the First World War seemed liked a good occasion to make the trip.

Heading off in the pouring rain after a night of storms and a howling hound put me at least in the mood for the gloom ahead. J. was excited. He’s becoming really quite knowledgeable about the First World War.

“Yes, Mummy, I know that Gallipoli was not Churchill’s finest hour …” J remarked nonchalantly as I bantered with Rowena about Mel Brooke in the film Gallipoli.

We stopped at a petrol station along the motorway for R. to have a lavatory break., at which stage from one flat Flemish horizon to another, there was nothing in the sky to be seen but indigo blue and the bright light of the late autumn sun. The wind had stopped. The rain had stopped and the golden light of autumn filled the C8.

By the time we arrived in Ypres we had an hour to spare before the last post was to be played outside the Menen Gate. Rowena, who is a girl after my own heart, had the wise idea of bundling all four children into a warm looking café cum patisserie on the road leading to the town square. There we feasted on sticky donuts, lollipops, iced cakes and hot chocolate. It was all very cosy and cheery and not at all like the trenches.

Outside the crowds were gathering. There were Brits in uniform and Brits in “mufti”; there were Canadians and Americans and New Zealanders and Australians and there were Sikhs and there were Belgians and there were French. And last but not least there was at least one German that I could mention (but more on that later).

We headed as far towards the Menen Gate as we could before being forced to stop due to the sheer number of people. J, K.M, and L., under the watchful eye of Rowena squeezed their way towards the barriers where they had a great view of the troops marching past. The blue sky had gone to be replaced by clouds but it stayed dry.
From October 1914 British and Commonwealth troops began to march through the Meenenpoort gateway from the city of Ypres along the Menen Road and into the gruesome battlefields of the Ypres Salient. The remains of over 90,000 soldiers of the British and Commonwealth armies, who lost their lives fighting in and around Ypres have never been found or identified. They are, therefore, buried somewhere in the Ypres Salient with no known grave.
The site of the Meenenpoort, known to the British Army as The Menen Gate, was considered to be a fitting location to place a memorial to the missing British and Commonwealth soldiers. Inscribed over the gate are panels reading:
TO THE ARMIESOF THE BRITISH EMPIREWHO STOOD HEREFROM 1914 TO 1918AND TO THOSE OF THEIR DEADWHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE
In 1928 the then Superintendent of the Ypres Police had the idea of sounding the Last Post on a daily basis – the traditional salute to the fallen warrior - in recognition of those soldiers lost fighting for Ypres’ freedom and independence.
From 11 November 1929 the Last Post has been sounded on the eastern side of the Menin Gate every night and in all weathers. The only exception to this was during the four years of the German occupation of Ypres. On the very evening that Polish forces liberated Ypres in 1944 the ceremony was resumed at the Menin Gate – in spite of the heavy fighting still going on in other parts of the town.
At exactly 20.00 hours, every day regardless of weather, season or visitor numbers, up to six members of the regular buglers from the local volunteer Fire Brigade step into the roadway under the memorial arch to play the Last Post, followed by a short silence, followed by the playing of the Reveille.
On 11/11 it is supposed to be played at 11 a.m. exactly to mark the signing of the armistice - but, as with all ceremonies, there were delays and lengthy speeches and prayers in Dutch and in English. Just as the first speech was beginning the heavens opened and the precipitations of early morning returned. Luckily we were standing next to some very tall Dutch men who had bought big umbrellas with them so we stayed dry. R. was warm and comfortable on my arm and just as the Last Post was finally played he looked sleepily into my eyes and zonked out on my shoulder.

The crowds, the distance and the rain tap tap tapping on umbrellas muffled the sound of the bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace” but the mournful, haunting wailing of the pipes carried through the air adding to the sense of sadness and loss. The Last Post was then sounded but by this time I was anxious to get going since the rain was getting heavier and heavier and I was beginning to wonder how we would exit the crowds without losing the children and carrying a heavy and sleeping Richard on my arm.

Later that day, once the crowds had cleared, we moseyed down to the Menen Gate to look at all the wreaths of Poppies that lay there. The rain had subsided but a cold chill wind blew under the arches.

Men were beginning to clear away the stands which had housed the dignitaries earlier on in the day. I looked down onto the cobbled floor underneath the gate and noticed that the rain water running into the gutters had turned blood red. The die from thousands of poppies placed by the gate was intermingling with the rain water running into the drains. It stuck me that this was a more vivid, more powerful reminder to the fallen than anything else I had seen or heard that day – almost as if, on this their remembrance day, the blood of the fallen was allowed to wash once more into the Ypres Salient, as it had done all those years ago.

And now I will, briefly, return to the one German who I know attended the ceremony. As I exited the entrance to the museum “In Flanders' Fields” I noticed that Rowena was taking photos of K.M. and L. standing next to a Scottish highlander. The same guy who had played “Amazing Grace” under the Menen Gate shortly before the sounding of the Last Post.

“I think your skirt is really, really pretty.” L. told him enthusiastically as Rowena positioned them for the photo shoot.

They both looked very proud.

“Is that the Cameron tartan?” I asked before moving on.

“It is indeed,” he replied.

“Did you know he’s German?” Rowena asked me.

I didn’t but we both laughed. At the same time though it seemed very fitting to both of us that ninety years after the collision of two juggernaut armies a German should be chosen to play the bagpipes under the symbolic Menen Gate. Ninety years on and Armistice is a day to remember all the fallen, whether German or British or Russian or Italian or Australian or Austrian or Canadian or New Zealander or Sikh or Turk, all of whom at the end of the day, were mere pawns to the ambitions of mad hereditary monarchs, aristocrats and out of touch generals.

Later, we decided to visit a museum in Zonnebeke – a village which at the end of the war(judging by the photos of the time) was but a mere mud field with all but the church steeples standing out against the horizon resembling a pair of rotten fangs amidst all the destruction. Now, it’s a typical built up, slightly dull looking Flemish village. Its only a fifteen minute ride from Ypres.

The fields, en route, were all water logged notable only for the large gleaming puddles that shone in between the cut off tops of the summer’s corn. Not the kind of place you would like to bunker down in at the best of times. I felt cold imagining what it must have been like to sit in a trench or dripping dug-out with a heavy, almost certainly wet, army uniform on and a barrage of sniper fire, shrapnel, artillery fire and noxious, nauseous gas being thrown in my direction.

After visiting the Chateau at Zonnebeke – a great museum with underground trenches which the children enjoyed running through we emerged to see a blood red sun set.

“Passendael is a five minute ride from here,” Rowena told us. “Shall we just drive past Toy cot Cemetery to have a quick look before heading home?”

Passendael – a name with such resonance in the UK; always said aloud with awe, sadness and respect. Its part of our national consciousness and here we were just five minutes drive away. I had no idea it was such a small unassuming little village. Somehow I had imagined something bigger. Something more spectacular. Something more, well, fitting to the symbolism of useless warfare and death.

Above Toy cot cemetery a full moon shone high up in the Eastern sky, whilst to the West – lighting up the Western Front the sun began to tip towards the horizon, the beams of which highlighted, in sharp relief, Flanders’ wet, muddy, water clogged fields. It seemed a fitting end to a day that had begun stormy, then turned wet and ended bright and clear. Well, at least on 11/11 and 11 a.m. we did as all the Poppies placed along the Menen Gate had asked us to do:

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”

c http://tales-from-the-middle.blogspot.com/2008/11/for-whom-poppies-grow.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Nov 2008 11:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://bangortobobbio.blogspot.com/2008/11/in-flanders-fields.html
en:
http://bangortobobbio.blogspot.com/2008/11/finding-grave-after-84-years.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Nov 2008 11:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

BACK IN TIME

Yesterday I had another dream. In this one I visited the Imperial War Museum, something that I hadn’t done for – I don’t know – maybe forty years. Though its fixtures & fittings were relatively modern, the exhibits had hardly changed. In a sense that’s stating the bleedin’ obvious of course because items like a First World War tank, a Second World War field gun and the cut-away cockpit of a Lancaster bomber sealed with a plastic see-through glass by definition tend not to move with the times. Walking into the ground floor area was therefore akin to travelling back four decades and, even if understandable, strangely disappointing.

Even the name somehow smacks of ‘back then’. I checked in my Collins English Dictionary just now and was supported in my contention that ‘imperial’ relates to an empire. Apparently ‘Imperial’ (with a capital ‘I’) relates to a specific empire, ‘e.g. the British Empire’.

Slightly incongruous these days and – ironically – perhaps slightly incongruous in those days too. The Imperial War Museum was first opened by King George V at the Crystal Palace on 9th June 1920. Just over five months later (at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) the ceremony to place the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey occurred. There had been some debate over the inscription to be included on the iron shield placed on the top of the casket. It began ‘A British warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 …’ but the issue was whether it should finish ‘… for King and Empire’ or ‘… for King and Country’ because there were already movements in the ‘Old Commonwealth’ countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa towards dominion status and/or self-determination. In such circumstances was the word ‘Empire’ going to be either controversial and/or strictly appropriate? In the end therefore they chose ‘… for King and Country’.

Nevertheless given its dated ‘old world’ atmosphere Imperial War Museum somehow seems to fit. In some of the side-rooms … downstairs and on every floor … there were exhibitions on specific conflicts – The First World War (including a ‘trench experience), the Second World War, wars since 1945, VC and George Cross winners, the Holocaust, D Day, and so on. I was only really interested in the First World War – some original letters & drafts of poems by notable war poets in the exhibition cases were fascinating - but strolled through some of the others just to be able to say that I had.

And that was my overriding reaction really. With several noisy school parties (I should estimate mostly ranging in age from 8 to 16) proceeding either in crocodiles or else total anarchy during my visit, I did not have the inclination to linger anywhere too long. Quiet contemplation or study – had it been desired or needed, and for the most part it was not – would have been virtually impossible. The comment is not entirely critical. Many adults including me tend to bang on about the need for future generations to understand & appreciate the sacrifices our forebears made on our behalf (‘… for the sacred cause of justice and the freedom of the world …’ as another inscription beside the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior has it) and I guess that if outings to the Imperial War Museum cause young kids for the first time ever to pause and consider their nation’s past - and at times troubled - history then they’re a plus … end of message. It’s just that after yesterday I don’t think I shall need to visit again for another forty years.

c http://www.viewfromthebridge.com/?p=2279
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2008 21:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Benner Family World War One - Canada

This blog follows a Canadian family of five brothers through the war years of 1914-1918. Their lives and contributions are chronicled by their letters sent to one another 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 'Friendship' poem.

http://canadaworldwarone.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-truce.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2009 9:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

* Ieper is an important site of Great War battles, cemeteries, monuments and traditions such as the Last Post (every evening). Very popular among old veterans and young boys interested in wars

Weten we dat ook weer..
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Feb 2009 21:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Yvonne @ 29 Dec 2008 21:02 schreef:
Benner Family World War One - Canada

This blog follows a Canadian family of five brothers through the war years of 1914-1918. Their lives and contributions are chronicled by their letters sent to one another 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 'Friendship' poem.

http://canadaworldwarone.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-truce.html


Updates:
http://canadaworldwarone.blogspot.com/2009/02/second-contingent-to-leave-soon.html
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Tandorini



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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Mrt 2009 20:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Een paar blogs gevonden.

http://eastbournewar.blogspot.com/
http://outofbattle.blogspot.com/
http://8thbattalion.blogspot.com/
http://5thsussex.blogspot.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Mrt 2009 6:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

22 March 2009
Each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds


In November 2007 I visited the World War One Western Front with friends, to pay our respects at the sites that were so important to New Zealand's military history. As most tourists do, we attended the solemn Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ieper (Ypres), and we enjoyed the hospitality at Le Quesnoy, where every Armistice Day the town celebrates its liberation by New Zealand forces in 1918. We were also able to visit the farming country a short distance northeast of Ieper to see the massive war cemetery at Tyne Cot near Zonnebeke, where many of the remains from the vicious bloodletting at Passchendaele are buried.

The visit to Tyne Cot was particularly significant for me, as I was able to find the name of my grandfather's uncle, who was killed on the first day of the battle. Eric Claude Tucker died on 12 October 1917 at the age of 27, and in his memory my great grandparents would later name both my grandfather Claude and his younger brother Eric. Both men, who are still kicking, are in some small way a living testament to the Tucker family's loss, over 90 years after the event.

I knew little of Eric Claude Tucker's life when I visited Tyne Cot - in fact, just enough to find his name engraved in Panel 7 of the New Zealand Apse. This sweeping crescent of stone in a Belgian field is marked with hundreds of names from the farthest corner of the world.

I was grateful at the time for being able to discover even that much, but in the time since I have been able to locate more details of Eric's life from his military records, some of which are now available online and free of charge.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum's Cenotaph Database contained a summary of his military record with plenty of useful leads to investigate, and details of the troopship that took him to war. Archives New Zealand's website provided marvellous scans of a four-page Casualty Form that detailed a chronology of his military service. The National Library's Papers Past site supplied scans of local newspapers of the day, which helped to reflect the world Eric left behind and the reportage read by the New Zealand public at the time. And NZHistory.net.nz published a superb letter written by a New Zealander who survived Passchendaele. These resources enabled me to form a clearer picture of the relatively short life of my grandfather's uncle, and they contained a few surprises too.

---

Eric was born on 24 September 1890 in the small Hawkes Bay farming community of Clive, which is located between coastal Napier and inland Hastings. The Tucker family was well-known here, having left New Plymouth, their original port of arrival in New Zealand in 1841, and resettled in the Hawkes Bay. The town was occasionally referred to as 'Tucker-town', due to the prevalence of the family name. There's sleepy Tucker Lane off the main road leading to three dozen properties, and Clive's unassuming war memorial near the bridge displays many examples of the Tucker name amongst the fallen.

Eric was the son of Sarah Ann and Joseph Tucker of West Clive. Sarah Tucker (nee Cheer) was 23 when she gave birth to Eric, her second child of what would eventually total a brood of seven. (The first child, Oswald Langham Tucker (b.1888 d. 1987), was my great-grandfather. I remember meeting him when I was a small boy).

Eric grew up to become a butcher, perhaps working in a local shop or in a nearby freezing works. His military record helps to fill in some blanks: he was of middling height at five feet five-and-a-half inches, and weighed nine stone ten (62 kilos). He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.

It appears that he volunteered for Army service, because his date of enlistment was 7 March 1916, and the Military Service Act 1916 did not require enlistment until 16 September 1916. Issued the serial number 14886, Rifleman Tucker was initially declared unfit for service due to a traditional Tucker affliction: bad teeth. Given the dental techniques of the time, it is likely that the Army's approach to poor dental health was full extraction and fitting for dentures. This would have been Eric's first taste of discomfort in his Army career: the extractions would have been particularly painful.

Assigned to the Trentham Military District, Eric spent three months learning the trade of soldiering, probably at Trentham Camp in Upper Hutt. He may well have spent time in Wellington on leave tickets, and might have been given a few days back in the Hawkes Bay before he embarked for Europe. Six weeks after enlisting he was reported Absent Without Leave (AWOL), which began what would become a long series of encounters with the military justice system.

On 26 June 1916 Eric embarked on the Union Steamship Company's RMS Tahiti, as a part of 5th Reinforcements, 4th Battalion, H Company. The troop transport (HMNZT 57) carried the men out of Wellington harbour, and the ship's newsletter, The Tahiti "Truth", later reported the scene:

Handkerchiefs were waving, relatives, sweethearts and friends calling their last good-byes, and as the troopships slowly drew away from the crowded wharf the excitement reached its highest pitch and -- we were gone. Since that evening the vessels have steamed far over the oceans, but the memory of the farewell will never be effaced.



The "Truth" also reported that 'the sea was inclined to be boisterous and the days before we reached our first port of call were somewhat stormy', which is unsurprising given the wintertime journey.

The Tahiti called at Cape Town en route to England, and after a passage of three months arrived in Devonport, Plymouth on 22 August 1916. In the weeks before arrival Eric had gotten into more trouble, with the ship complement's Army commanding officer Captain Hubbard twice requiring him to forfeit pay for misdemeanours (eight shillings on 3 August and 10 shillings on 17 August).

The day after arrival in England, Eric was housed in Sling Camp on the Salisbury Plain, which became home for thousands of New Zealanders in Britain during World War One. Troops waiting to be repatriated to New Zealand after the Armistice later carved a large kiwi shape into the chalk above Bulford, which remains to this day as a reminder of the New Zealanders' presence. View the second clip in this NZ Film Archives collection for an idea of what life at Sling was like – or at least how it was portrayed to the public back home in New Zealand.

Eric was at Sling for a month, and during this time another AWOL listing was recorded against his name (12 September), for which he was docked a week's pay. Then it was time to cross the Channel to France. On 26 September he crossed to Etaples, the principal depot and transit camp for the British Expeditionary Force in World War One. A few weeks before his arrival, Etaples had been the scene of a major mutiny of troops fed up with the scourge of inflexible military discipline and harsh punishments. (An Australian serving in the NZEF, Private Jack Braithwaite, was later shot by firing squad for mutiny).

Fortunately for Eric, his time at Etaples was limited as he joined his battalion in the field on 11 October. He was soon in more trouble with the authorities though, and the punishments for his actions were significantly more severe on the Western Front. In the first half of 1917 he was listed AWOL three times (24 February, 3 April and 27 May) and was also listed as late or absent from parade on 8 and 10 May. It is unclear whether this indicated that Eric was a habitual troublemaker or merely one incapable of obeying orders, but in either case the results were serious. He was given 28 days of Field Punishment No.2 on 26 February and 14 more days on 9 April. This was a serious development - Field Punishment No.2 involved hard labour in chains. (Field Punishment No.1 was the same with the addition of being chained to a heavy object). In addition, for his parade-ground infractions he was fined a total of 14 days pay.

The month after being absent from parade, Eric was wounded in action. On 7 June 1917 the British Second Army detonated 19 enormous mines under the Messines Ridge (in an explosion that was reputedly heard in London and Dublin), killing 10,000 German troops in the front line and destroying the village of Messines. The assault on Messines, more than a year in the planning, succeeded in all its objectives. The New Zealand Rifle Brigade, operating as part of the New Zealand Infantry Division, seized what remained of Messines village, and in doing so Lance Corporal Samuel Frickleton earned one of the Brigade's two Victoria Crosses in the following manner:

...although slightly wounded, [Frickleton] dashed forward at the head of his section, pushed into our barrage and personally destroyed with bombs an enemy machine-gun and crew which was causing heavy casualties. He then attacked a second gun killing all the crew of 12. By the destruction of these two guns he undoubtedly saved his own and other units from very severe casualties. During the consolidation of this position he received a second severe wound.



Eric was not so lucky. At some stage on the day of the battle, probably after the successful attack as the German artillery bombarded the newly captured territory, he received contusions and was reported to be suffering from shell-shock. He was evacuated the next day and admitted to the nearest field hospital to the firing line (the Australian No.2 Casualty Clearing Station), some five-and-a-half miles away in northern France. His wounds must have been reasonably severe but not life-threatening, because two days after the battle he was transferred again to No.8 General Hospital in Rouen, and the day after that (10 June) to the No.2 Convalescent Depot in the same city. Here he remained for 10 days, before moving to the nearby village of Buchy and the No.11 Convalescent Depot on 20 June. By the end of June the Brigade's casualty figures were daunting: Officers, seven killed, 35 wounded and two missing; enlisted men, 157 killed, 912 wounded and 163 missing.

Eric's return to fitness was a long process, because he remained away from the front lines until August. On 14 July he moved to an Army depot at Etaples (the base name is unclear in his written record), where he remained until 29 August, when he rejoined the Division. His Brigade was acting as the Division's reserve, and his battalion (2nd Battalion) was billetted in the town of Borre, on the outskirts of Hazebrouck in Belgium. The Brigade's official history wrote that:

By this time the men, whose cheerfulness had never entirely deserted them, were beginning to regain their wonted appearance of physical fitness, and were looking forward to a comparatively enjoyable period of training. Their hopes, however, were doomed to disappointment, for a long month's digging under fire, and mostly by night, was about to commence.



Three battalions of the Brigade, including Eric's, were set to work burying signalling cables in the vicinity of Zillebeke, southeast of Ypres. The 2nd Battalion remained there until 16 September, when it moved back over to the French side of the border to the town of Stein-Je, where it remained for five days until returning to its digging on the front line five days later.

For some reason at this point Eric, whose military career had not been distinguished by any means, was then shipped back to England for a period of leave, departing on 27 September. Perhaps the leave was granted to an entire unit rather than just him. A fortnight's respite from the front lines, particularly in an English-speaking country, must have been a great relief, particularly after having been wounded in action.

---

After his leave Eric rejoined his unit - 2nd Battalion, D Company, 3rd Platoon - on 8 October. Everyone must have been gearing up for a big offensive, so his time would have been fully occupied in preparation. Perhaps he found some time to write a letter to his mother in Clive. There had been no further black marks on his disciplinary record since 27 May, so his injury may have affected his behaviour, or perhaps the pressure of front-line operations had upped the stakes for bad behaviour to such a degree that it was vital to keep out of trouble.

Just before Eric's return to the Division it had provided cover for an Australian division's assault on the Broodseinde Ridge. The New Zealand Division aimed for the Gravenstafel Spur, and advanced 1000 metres to take the position after a successful artillery barrage disrupted the German defences. There were more than 320 New Zealand casualties, including the former All Blacks captain Sergeant Dave Gallagher, whose resting place is now visited by touring All Blacks teams when they play in Europe. However, the success of the operation and damage it inflicted on the German Army convinced the Allied high command that another attack was needed to follow up the momentum gained at Broodseinde. This was to prove a fatal mistake.

At 5.25am on 12 October 1917 a huge artillery barrage opened up on the German lines at Bellevue Spur, a tributary of the Passchendaele Ridge. The barrage was less effective than that at Broodseinde, and in some places was misdirected so it fell into the allied lines instead of the Germans', which caused considerable casualties. The German defences, including barbed wire and numerous concrete pillboxes, were not destroyed by the barrage, and as a misty drizzle turned into heavy rain the New Zealanders and the seven other divisions involved in the assault, which later became known as the Battle of Passchendaele, were pinned down by machinegun crossfire and uncut barbed wire. Throughout the morning and into the afternoon there were hundreds and hundreds of casualties and no progress could be made towards their objectives.

On the same day, the Grey River Argus newspaper in Greymouth was reporting the humdrum existence of a small New Zealand town. Charles Uddstrom's of Mackay Street was staging a closing down sale 'owing to war conditions'. An advertisement for Watson's Whisky depicted two bearded Scotsmen - Donal explaining to his friend that he had lost his 'luggage' because 't'cork cam' oot, and - my! - 't was Watson's No.10 Whisky!'. And at the town cinema, Peerless Pictures, the evening's entertainment was to be a film of Romeo and Juliet featuring the famous actress Theda Bara (‘The Vamp’) as Juliet: the film was advertised as being 'in eight reels, length 8000 feet'. According to IMDB.com, this 1916 American production apparently told the tale 'with the camera focused whenever possible on Juliet, draped in especially skimpy nightgowns'.

The events at Passchendaele were as far removed from the peaceful life of New Zealand as can be imagined. A week after the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele, the New Zealand soldier Private Leonard Hart wrote to his parents to reassure them that he was alive. As his letter was being posted by a comrade heading to England, he was able to be more frank than most in his letter, without the fear of the military censor wielding his scissors:

Through some blunder our artillery barrage opened up about two hundred yards short of the specified range and thus opened right in the midst of us. It was a truly awful time - our own men getting cut to pieces in dozens by our own guns. Immediate disorganisation followed. I heard an officer shout an order to the men to retire a short distance and wait for our barrage to lift. Some, who heard the order, did so. Others, not knowing what to do under the circumstances, stayed where they were, while others advanced towards the German positions, only to be mown down by his deadly rifle and machine gun fire.

At length our barrage lifted and we all once more formed up and made a rush for the ridge. What was our dismay upon reaching almost to the top of the ridge to find a long line of practically undamaged German concrete machine gun emplacements with barbed wire entanglements in front of them fully fifty yards deep. The wire had been cut in a few places by our artillery but only sufficient to allow a few men through it at a time. Even then what was left of us made an attempt to get through the wire and a few actually penetrated as far as his emplacements only to be shot down as fast as they appeared. Dozens got hung up in the wire and shot down before their surviving comrades’ eyes. It was now broad daylight and what was left of us realised that the day was lost. We accordingly lay down in shell holes or any cover we could get and waited. Any man who showed his head was immediately shot. They were marvellous shots those Huns. We had lost nearly eighty per cent of our strength and gained about 300 yards of ground in the attempt. This 300 yards was useless to us for the Germans still held and dominated the ridge. We hung on all that day and night. There was no one to give us orders, all our officers of the Battalion having been killed or wounded with the exception of three, and these were all Second Lieutenants who could not give a definite order about the position without authority. All my Company officers were killed outright one of them the son of the Reverend Ryburn of Invercargill, was shot dead beside me.



The 2nd Battalion under Major W.G. Bishop was in the vanguard of the assault, and Eric's company was led by Temporary Captain Daniel Cornelius Bowler (serial 14025), who was also a Hawkes Bay man. Bowler lived in Davis Street, Hastings, when he enrolled, and his former profession was as a school teacher. Bowler had travelled to Europe on the Tahiti on the same trip as Eric, and had been awarded the Military Cross (MC) during the course of the war. At some stage during the assault, Bowler was killed. His wife would have received an official telegram or letter to her home address, which was now 15 Buller Street, Wellington, a house that was later demolished to make way for a motorway bypass.

Mrs Tucker of Clive also received such a communication, because at some point on 12 October her son Eric was killed in action, only four days after returning from leave. His body, like those of so many other soldiers who died in that assault, was not recovered. There is now no-one alive who knows any personal details of his life before he joined the Army. Both Eric Tucker and his captain have no marked grave. Their names are recorded on the same slab of stone in the Tyne Cot cemetery, a meagre testament to lives cut so short.

En verder:
© http://slightlyintrepid.blogspot.com/2009/03/each-slow-dusk-drawing-down-of-blinds.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Mrt 2009 16:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Behind the lines

Here we’re seeing a dramatic intepretation of a fictional work about a poet’s response to real events (Phew!). Having read a first-person account (Graves), read the poet in question (Sassoon), and read the novel that the movie is based on (Regeneration), how does the film hold up? How does its interpretation of the events differ from your own readings of the source material? What does it leave out? What does it focus on? Is its main focus the same as the novel’s? Why do you think the filmmakers made the choices they made?

The class response to this was fairly evenly split, so I thought I would post two students’ opposing viewpoints on the film.

Here’s the first perspective on the film:

I think the film holds up pretty good. It was nice to see a picture to go along with the words that we were reading from the book Regeneration. The interpretations were for the most part how I expected them to be. I expected them to of course focus on Dr. Rivers and his work and also a bit on Sassoon and his reasons for being there. One thing the movie didn’t do, was focus on Sassoon himself. In the book, Sassoon was the vocal point and was the main character. In my opinion the movie seemed to focus more on Billy Prior. It seemed like Prior was the main character. I had no problem with this; it was just a little different than that of the book. Although in the book they did go into great detail about Prior, it was more evident in the film. I think the movie’s focus was on Prior instead of Sassoon. A good that the movie did was show Dr. Rivers’ pain and how he didn’t like hurting his patients. It also showed that bond and that relationship that Rivers seemed to have with his patients. The focus for the book and the focus for the film were different in my opinion. I think the filmmakers did this because they wanted to dramatize the life of a soldier in war. Since Prior had nightmares, I think the filmmakers wanted to show his nightmares and his flashbacks in order to give the audience a picture or idea of what war might have been like for the men who were fighting in it. Overall, I think the movie did a good job of interpreting what Pat Barker had written in the book Regeneration.

And here’s a competing perspective:

Having read much of what the movie is based on, I am severely disappointed in the movie’s portrayal. Given, that they did have a lot of information to try and cover, but the pace at which the movie goes and how it downplays certain things, most notably Price’s other patients, ruins the movie for me. Also, it seems to cast most of the characters in different lights than what the book seemed to. It’s within the director’s rights to change the story as his interpretation sees fit, but I’m left dumbfounded as to what basis he puts on making Graves seem less of a supportive, close friend to Sassoon and more that he was just trying to move Sassoon to dodge fire. And that the movies reaches a point where it seems to have gotten bored with Sassoon and spends the rest of the time focusing exclusively on Prior. It perplexes the mind.
© http://jwurtz.blogspot.com/2009/02/behind-lines.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Jun 2009 6:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Blog om in de gaten te houden:
CONFLICT LANDSCAPES IN SOUTHERN JORDAN. 1914 1918
THIS BLOG IS ABOUT MY RESEARCH INTO THE CONFLICT LANDSCAPE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SOUTHERN JORDAN, PRIMARILY FOR THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. THIS PERIOD COVERS THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND THE GREAT ARAB REVOLT OF 1916 - 1918 , MADE FAMOUS BY THE EXPLOITS OF LAWRENCE OF ARABIA AND THE HASHEMITE ARAB FORCES. CONTRIBUTING TO GARP

http://lawrence-jordan.blogspot.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Jun 2009 6:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Remembering our heroes

by Andrew Newport, Paisley Daily Express


TWO young cadets have retraced the final steps of hundreds of fallen Scottish solders who gave their lives for their country.

Ross Hamilton and Michael Cox were among a group of teenagers from the West Lowland Battalion Army Cadet Force who took part in a pilgrimage to the First World War battlefields in Belgium.

Although it is over 90 years since the guns fell silent on Armistice Day in 1918, the army cadets – who hail from across Renfrewshire, as well as Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway – still pay an annual visit to the Ypres area of West Flanders.

It was here that many of the most intense and sustained battles between the German and Allied forces took place during the Great War.

Instructor Andrew Hay said that for Cadets Hamilton and Cox, who are both from Barrhead, the trip represented a chance to fully understand the lengths these brave men went to in order to ensure the freedoms they enjoy today.

Lees verder:
http://icrenfrewshire.icnetwork.co.uk/lifestyle/tm_headline=remembering-our-heroes&method=full&objectid=23664434&siteid=87085-name_page.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Jun 2009 7:00    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Great War and My Post-Modern Memory
Published May 17, 2009 books 0 Comments
Tags: 1916, 1935, british army, dublin, early twentieth century european history, edwardian england, first day on the somme, george dangerfield, heisenberg's uncertainty principle, historical consciousness, imperial germany, john lukacs, paul fussell, the great war and modern memory, the imagination of an insurrection, the passing of the modern age, the strange death of liberal england, the ulster crisis of 1914, william irwin thompson, ww l
If you’ve ever wondered in referencing a long ago book, whether or not you really had “gotten” what you’d read, then you might understand my decision to re-read certain books from my past. There are books, many read years ago, that have seriously influenced, for better or worse, how I think today. Recently, I began re-reading several of those works, particularly those centered on the events and consequences of the First World War, books whose decades-old ideas remain lodged in my mind.

I first read George Dangerfield’s 1935 classic “The Strange Death of Liberal England” in 1969, a beautifully and wittily literate survey of the political, social and imperial crises of Edwardian England. The book is as good a read in 2009, as it had been in 1969. Particularly gripping is Dangerfield’s treatment of how the now largely unknown Ulster Crisis of 1914, and the threat of civil war in Ireland, were considered a more imminent danger in most British minds of the day than the impending conflict with Imperial Germany.


Lees verder:
http://petebyrne.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/the-great-war-and-post-modern-memory/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jul 2009 6:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kijkvoer voor bij de koffie nu:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21529014@N02/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Jul 2009 7:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

'Pilgrims' visit site of Gwent soldiers' Great War victory

In the bitter battle for Mametz Wood Gwent soldiers took on the cream of the German Army and triumphed.

Mike Buckingham spoke to a returning band of World War One pilgrims.

WHERE once there was gunfire there was in this day only the breeze ruffling the leaves of Mametz Wood and wafting over the ripening corn where, 93 years ago, Gwent soldiers helped secure one of the pivotal victories of the Great War.

On the July day that saw the Welsh triumph over the towering Prussian Guards a wreath was laid, a silence observed and time-honoured words read by a veteran of a much later war.

"We were standing by the memorial to the 38th Welsh Division with our backs to the ridge over which the Welshmen poured as they made they way to the objective which was the wood." The words are spoken by Stephen Cocks of Oakfield Road, Newport, an historian with a personal as well as a professional interest in the 1914-1918 war.

"My grandfather Walter Tyrrell, was with the Royal Field Artillery of the Seventh Division which was supporting the Welsh advance into Mametz Wood.

"It's strange but as I stood there I could almost hear the guns and see the Welshmen as they advanced towards the German positions across land which has hardly changed at all since 1916."

Stephen and Susan Cocks run specialised guided tours to the battlefield to which thousands of Britons return every year and to which all recruits to the British Army are taken as part of their induction.

"The first day of the attack with the Welsh Division attacking from the East and the Seventh Division from the West was a total disaster" Mr Cocks said.

"They didn't even get to within 100 yards of the wood as German machine guns fired on their flanks from two positions named Flat Iron copse and Sabot copse.

"There was a couple of days lull before the Welsh changed their tactics.

"Previously, the British had developed the technique of the creeping barrage under which troops advanced immediately behind the shell falls of their own artillery.

"The Germans would often wait until the fire on their own front line had subsided and then pop up to face the oncoming British.

"This time the gunners set up a creeping barrage which they then reversed, catching the Germans unawares.

"Mametz Wood was important because beyond it lay Bazentin Ridge which it was absolutely vital the British win and hold."

The battlefield visit marked to the day 22 years since the unveiling of the memorial to the men of the 38th Division the iconic sculptural centrepiece of which was designed by Welsh sculptor David Petersen.

Mrs Pat Evans who together with Mrs Susan Cocks, her husband Mr Harold Evans and Falklands veteran Stuart Allen was part of the pilgrimage said two companies of the attacking force were comprised largely of Gwent men.

"We had wanted to go back and see the sculpture in the form of a dragon commissioned by the a memorial sub-committee of South Wales Branch of the Western Front Association of which my husband Harold was chairman at the time " she said.

"At that time there were men present who had fought in the battle for Mametz Wood.

"Sadly, none of those are with us today."

Mr Cocks said a German woman in the small party had wept as she viewed the battlefield.

"Another gentleman's father and his uncle had been present in 1916 as part of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

"After his brother had been killed this man’s father bought a blanket in which to wrap him before he was buried. "We were able to take him to the village near where his uncle had been killed.

"It probably wouldn't be the case in Britain but in 2009 large parts of the battlefield were very much as they would have been in 1916.

"Mametz Wood itself is the same shape as it was all those years ago and the trees are much the same as they would have been.

“During the actual fighting the wood was not reduced to matchwood as they had been in some other parts of the front.

"The bitter fighting happened amongst dense woods.

"Robert Graves the poet and author visited the wood just after the battle and remarked how small some of the Welsh dead looked alongside their German opponents.

"To stand on the spot where these momentous events happened and to be able to identify exactly where the attacking troops were and where the German guns were is an emotional experience.

"You feel an almost mystical connection with the men who fought on the Somme front and whose relatives are scattered all over Gwent.

"For me as for so many visiting Mametz Wood is a pilgrimage."

Mr Harold Evans, 75, himself a former member of the Royal Artillery stressed that the memorial was to all those who had worn the divisional patch, irregardless of regiment.

"The red dragon is clutching a strand of barbed wire which is symbolic of Welsh tenacity" he said

© http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/4498857._Pilgrims__visit_site_of_Gwent_soldiers__Great_War_victory/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2009 8:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

" 1. Aug. 1916

Morgens Abfahrt nach Lübeck über Oldesloe, Segeberg und Neumünster mit Gestellungsbefehl in der Tasche, um der Einberufung ins Heer Folge zu leisten. Dort Meldung beim Bezirkskommando. Man stellt mir mit meinem Freund Hans Pitzner anheim, uns einstweilen zurückstellen zu lassen. Wir lehnen ab! Wir wollen nichts anderes als eingezogen zu werden. Auf dem Hof des Bezirkskommandos werden wir in Transporte eingeteilt. Pfitzner und ich kommen beide zu dem für Flensburg bestimmten Transport. Mittags Abfahrt von Neumünster über Rendsburg nach Flensburg. Hier werden wir der 3.Korporalschaft des Rekrutendepots I. E.86 der "Königin-Füsiliere" in der Westkaserne zugeteilt.

6 Wochen verbringen wir in der Westkaserne bei strammem Dienst und sehr kargem Essen.

... so beginnt das Tagebuch von Dieter Finzen. Wir werden es beginnend mit dem 12.September 2009, 93 Jahre nach dessen Niederschrift, veröffentlichen."

Oftewel binnenkort is dit initatief te volgen via

http://dieter-finzen.blogspot.com/

Veel leesplezier,

Groeten,
René
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Jul 2009 17:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://agnesfouquart.blogspot.com/2009/07/soon-war-1914-1918-project.html
Knap!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Jul 2009 20:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmopolitan_photography/3671668086/
Apart
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Jul 2009 6:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Een wakkere Brit:
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Gordon Brown gets his World Wars mixed up.

Gordon Brown was on the BBC News yesterday (video clip embedded here) talking about the death of Harry Patch, who had fought in the trenches in World War One.

At about 34 seconds into the clip, he says we should "... remember what we owe that generation of people - our freedom, our liberties, the fact we are a democracy in the world. These men and women during World War One did a huge amount..."

WTF? Is he perhaps confusing World War One (1914 - 18) with World War Two (1939 - 45)?

The UK was not under any particular threat during World War One and it is a mystery to me why we got involved. We should have cheered from the sidelines while the Europeans did each other in; sold them weapons and supplies; and maybe taken the opportunity to pinch all their colonies from them.

© http://markwadsworth.blogspot.com/2009/07/gordon-brown-completely-loses-plot.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Aug 2009 8:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ieper: Belgium's Little Gem

http://www.associatedcontent.com/slideshow/24470/ieper_belgiums_little_gem.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Aug 2009 8:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie plaatjes:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joopvandijk/3758349590/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Okt 2009 17:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

.
War and the British Imagination: 1914-1918

This is the Blog for Dr. Wurtz's English 239 Class, titled "Literature and Life--War and the British Imagination: 1914-1918"


Regeneration #1
Pat Barker's novel Regeneration begins with Siegfried Sassoon's "A Soldier's Declaration". What is the exact nature of Sassoon's protest? How is it tied to his poetry that you have read? Is Sassoon responsible for his actions? For whom is he speaking? Why is he so dangerous? What predicament has he created for the British government? Why is Robert Graves so angry with his friend? Why has it led to Sassoon being sent to Rivers?

Here's one perspective from the class:

The nature of Sassoon’s protest is that he thinks that the government needs to identify their exact war aims, and he feels that their war aims, whatever they were, did not justify the level of slaughter that was going on. Also, he feels that the government is also not putting any limitations on the war, as it seems it will go on for a long time. In some of the poetry we read last week, he has that experience of being in the trenches and to know what it was like to be shelled and shot at all the time. Some of the poems relate to Sassoon in that he hates civilians because they continue to pull for the war, but they do not even know what it’s like to be in the war. In his poem, he goes off of what he talks about in the book of old men singing or talking in clubs about Germans and killing them, but he knows if they saw a German or a German tank they would stop singing and joking about it. Overall, I think the mood of the poems and the overall mood of Sassoon in the book link together because they both give you that image of dead corpses and the terrible conditions of fighting soldier in World War I. I think Sassoon is perfectly responsible for his actions as well as his declaration, and I think he is speaking on behalf of a lot of soldiers who feel the same he does, but feel that they can’t speak out about it or feel like they should not. Graves is a perfect example of that. He is dangerous because the government does not want him to be changing people’s mind about the war because they need the civilians on their side and cannot lose their support so they need to classify Sassoon as a “loony” and put him in a mental hospital to show what happens to people that speak out negatively about the war. Robert Graves is upset with his friend Sassoon because he feels that Sassoon is making a martyr of himself and that protesting against the war will do nothing for his cause and people will just think that he has gone mental from the war or has gotten cold feet. Graves feels that Sassoon should stop protesting the War and give up his cause but Sassoon is refusing to give in. Graves arranges a board meeting to decide where Sassoon will go which leads to Sassoon going to Craiglockhart, a mental hospital that Rivers is a doctor at. The point is for Rivers to convince Sassoon that he should go back to France and join ranks again and give up his protest.

Volg deze blog verder op:
http://jwurtz.blogspot.com/2009/10/regeneration-1.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Okt 2009 20:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

What should we remember?

My calendar notes that November 11 is called Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. If as a veteran you are tempted to get warm and fuzzy believing that many—if any—spend a moment thinking about veterans, get over it. Coming mid-week this year probably doesn’t help.

Considering what November 11 really means, the thought of remembrance is good if we remember what we are supposed to remember. Do you remember that in the old days we called November 11 Armistice Day, which reduces the amount of remembering you have to do provided you know what the term armistice means? In asking around I was somewhat surprised that the question brought on sort of a blank look. Let me take this space to help any dear reader who can’t recall the details.

In order to remember first you need to know. So let me tell you what you need to know about the Great War (1914-1918) in order to remember the significance of November 11. (If you really don’t care to know what is worth remembering simply skip to the last paragraph).

If you were a supporter of the status quo, assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s throne was a horrible event and worthy of starting a war. On the other hand, if the oppressive society of the time was too much it was a good thing. In either case the blood spilt on June 28, 1914 was nothing compared to the eventual cost to both sides in the four year conflict that followed. A month later the Empire declared war on Serbia. Then they declared war on Russia (long time ally of Serbia) and on August 2 declared war on France.

Germany followed suit with a declaration on August 2 and an invasion of France, but Belgium was in the way so war was declared on them. Eventually the conflict became truly worldwide in that Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Montenegro, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Siam, Turkey, the United States and Uruguay in one way or another assumed a role.

By 1917 the original combatants were on the verge of exhaustion. The tactics of its generals, the obstinacy of the Kaiser, the refusal of the principals to concede anything almost ensured the entry of the United States to save its allies, both Great Britain and France. The war was one of attrition, with countless battles being fought on and over the same French soil. The machine gun, both British and German versions, was efficient beyond all measure. The single shot rifles of past wars no longer got the job done. Far more deadly, the machine gun’s field of fire was devastating. The introduction of poison gas widened the carnage.

The idea of being able to fire multiple rounds quickly soon found its way to the war in the air.

The aeroplane had hardly been invented in 1917 when it was adapted to both observe and to dominate the air in ways the Wright Brothers could not have imagined. Aerial warfare provided both inspiration and an outlet for the best young men of both sides who were frustrated by the stalemates on the ground not to mention the miseries of trench warfare. And so began the golden age of aerial combat.

The result was a whole new way of waging war. Not necessarily any safer for the participants but far more glamorous. But above all it was measurable in a positive way for the enthusiastic and patriotic men involved and it made for very good press. (Read “Sagittarius Rising,” by ace Capt. Cecil A. Lewis, MC, RFC, who flew an SE5a). Only the finest young men became pilots and their losses were costly. Some lasted less than two weeks!

It was soon decided by someone that anyone who managed to shoot down five enemy planes would be designated an Ace. This tradition still is alive and well. To enhance the interest in this war in the air meticulous records have been maintained and to this day it is possible to tell who shot down who, how, when and where,

The Germans honored their flyers who shot down 20 or more planes with a medal known these days as the “Blue Max.” The honor was initiated in the Bavarian court, were French was the language. Called the “Pour le Merte” it was the source of much pride and made for great headlines in the German press. (The “Blue Max’ also happens to be the name of a really great movie about the Great War in the air.)

The British and French were not quite so glamorous but they awarded their highest honor, the Victoria Cross, to quite a few. The best the Americans could do was to recognize an extraordinary pilot from Phoenix named Frank Luke, known as the “Balloon Buster” for the number of German observation balloons he shot down before being killed after crash landing. He was the only American airman awarded the Medal of Honor. Eddie Rickenbacher, another famous pilot of the war, survived distinguished service overseas and received the Medal of Honor a decade later.

This unprecedented conflict finally came to an end on November 11, 1918 at 11 AM. Many wanted to take the battle to Germany. More than one thought the armistice terms too harsh. Considering that eleven million people died on an 85-mile front over the four years those shedding the blood had enough. The losses were beyond measure and if there was a lesson it was never learned. The Great War was over... for the time being. Here is the last paragraph.

There is a display at the Sandpoint Library beginning November 5 and running through December 16 of the airplanes involved in the war in the air. The models, all 1:48 scale, are remarkable in their detail and their decoration. The 22 models represent the actual planes used by those pilots who shot down five or more of the enemy. Each type is identified by name of the pilot and the kind of ‘crate’ he used to achieve immortality. If it isn’t fascinating it certainly is interesting and informative. See and enjoy. It might help you remember, the significance of November 11, 2009 and all the 11/11s hereafter. Protecting our freedom is usually costly because it is so precious.


http://riverjournal.com/vivvo/editorial/saywhat_remembrance_102009.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 16 Okt 2009 8:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Trees work for man and beast
10:28am Thursday 15th October 2009
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Woodlands on the Blenheim Palace estate are a good example of how to strike the right balance between the production of timber and the promotion of wildlife.

For if woodlands are neglected, they are a waste of a precious resource for commercial use and also of a resource for the well-being of mammals, insects, birds and plants.

Blenheim is one of the largest privately owned estates in Oxfordshire with 12,000 acres of land, including 2,000 acres of woodlands.

Over a year, the estate at Woodstock harvests about 2,000 tonnes of timber, mostly conifer and some oak for fencing, ship building, furniture and the building trade.

Forester on the estate is Paul Oris, who is also rural enterprises manager. He said: “Our woodlands are under a Forestry Commission management plan and we are independently certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council to ensure we manage our woodlands in a sustainable way from the environmental point of view.”

This means the working woodlands at Blenheim have re-planting programmes to maintain continuous growth of trees and supply of timber, all of which benefits wildlife.

In other words, timber production and wildlife conservation are compatible with each other.

Trees and woodland have been part of our landscape for at least 1,000 years.

Paul pointed out that although the Blenheim estate as it is known today is approximately 300 years old, the woodlands in fact go back much further.

“We are part of the remains of the ancient Wychwood royal hunting forest, which at one time covered virtually all of west Oxfordshire,” said Paul.

This was underlined when a survey of veteran trees was undertaken in the region and Blenheim woods were found to contain about 900 oaks that were several hundred years old.

“These old oaks are very important for wildlife and they support several endangered or threatenend species of beetles and fungi,” said Paul.

So intrusive younger trees like sycamore, ash and willow are pruned out or felled to help the oaks to continue to thrive.

Paul added: “We have a particular focus on our ancient woodland here. It is worth remembering that Britain has more ancient woodlands than most of the rest of western Europe.”

He and his colleagues liaise with several organisations, including the Sylva Foundation, a charity based in Little Wittenham, which advises landowners on sustainable woodland management.

Alistair Yeomans, director of forestry for Sylva, said: “Blenheim is a good example in Oxfordshire of woodland management that achieves the balance between timber production and timber conservation and the conservation of wildlife.

“Paul is very definitely aware of the needs of sustainable woodlands in terms of timber production and maintaining the biodiversity of the environment.”

So growing trees for timber and enhancing wildlife habitats go hand in hand and are both necessary.

For, as Tim Shardlow, director of forestry for Nicholson’s Nurseries at North Aston, near Bicester, pointed out, Britain will never be self-sufficient in producing enough timber for all our needs. Britain has to import about 90 per cent of its timber requirements.

“In this country we have only about 12 per cent of woodland cover compared with a country like France that has around 30 per cent,” said Tim.

One of the reasons for our lack of woodland is that so many trees were felled for use in the First World War, 1914-1918.

In the following years, the Forestry Commission was founded to promote the planting of new woodlands to help replace what was lost in the war years.

This led to the planting of vast conifer woods, which effectively increased the capital value of land holdings in the countryside.

However, while conifers still have a place in our overall timber production, there has been a move in more recent years to plant more native broadleaf trees.

Tim added: “Nicholson’s have been helping farmers and landowners in the creation of new areas of woodland for nearly 30 years. We are able to help landowners apply for Government funding under the English Woodland Scheme.”

As well as advising on the development of new woodlands, Nicholson’s also assists in woodland management, including several estates in Oxfordshire.

“When an old, dark and neglected woodland is cleared of dead wood and tree canopies are opened up to let in more daylight and sunlight, then a result is that woodland flowers such as wood anemone and bluebell that have not been seen there for years return and thrive,” he said.

Tim is secretary of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire region of the Royal Forestry Society, a national charity that encourages the wise management of trees and woods.

Membership is open to interested individuals, not just landowners and farmers, and several events are organised over a year, including visits to woods. And as David Rees, director of the Oxfordshire Woodland Project, pointed out: “More and better managed woodland leads to better conservation for wildlife.”

l For more information on the Royal Forestry Society go to www.rfs.org.uk or email rfshq@rfs.org.uk

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/leisure/4683734.Trees_work_for_man_and_beast/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Okt 2009 9:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about World War II. Even before it was officially time to think about it because of Remembrance Day. Even now, 62 years after that war has finally ended, we are still suffering its consequences in many ways. Globalization and the conquest of technology over humanity seems to be two major trends that resulted indirectly from this war. But even more importantly – the constant deterioration of sense of community, family and belonging in the Western cultures, that we are experiencing in large and small gestures every day. The Great War has not only shaken the values and belief systems of millions of people, but also the mental structure of the individuals that lived through it and after it, and the result is the many challenges of modern day living – stress, alienation and a general feeling of lack of direction and sense of belonging, among almost all age groups.

And so I finally took the time to experience one of the perfumes of these great wars. Launching a perfume in the midst of World War I (1914-1918) would have been perceived as a clever but slightly macabre marketing stunt, or an act of propaganda if it would have happened nowadays. But back than perfume companies were still rather innocent and perfume played a far more important role in people’s life. Perhaps the fact that there were only about seven other perfumes launched that year (as opposed to 447 in 2007, and the year hasn’t ended yet!) tells something about the preciousness of perfume back in those days… N’Aimez Que Moi (Ernest Daltroff, 1916) is translated into “Love No One But Me”.

According to Caron: “1916: the war is raging on all fronts and young women are languishing after those men that, two years ago, they let go, full of zeal and with the promise that they’d be home very soon. To keep up morale among the troops and their lady friends, CARON launched N’Aimez Que Moi.

A true pledge of faithfulness, young soldiers gave this perfume to their betrothed so that they would renew their vows of love daily until the day when victory came.”

N’Aimez Que Mois’ composition has “Hints of crystallized violets on a wooded amber base.” And is a floral chypre for those in search for gentle and comforting fragrance. Which is precisely what I needed when I chose it tonight, unknowingly searching for comfort from all those heavy and non-optimistic thoughts.

You don’t need to know all this to enjoy N’Aimez Que Moi gives a sense of intimacy and comfort. Despite the fact that it is in a sense “an old fashioned” scent, it is so well made and artfully blended that it is timeless. N’Aimez Que Mois opens dark and dense, as most Caron perfumes do. The rose is nearly hidden in thorns and darkness of notes of cedar, moss and what seems to be the crying out loud of the Caron base… Slowly but surely, fresh roses start to bloom and open up with dewy petals but an almost green intensity. There is something very convincing and real about them – they are just about as close to true rose as I’ve ever smelled. But the roses don’t stand out on their own. The companionship of candied violets and powdery orris softens the green edge of the blooming roses, with a softness akin to kissing a very soft, freshly powdered cheek. And once you’ve reached the dry down, animalic tonalities of both jasmine and civet* create a sensuality and a sense of intimacy and closeness that lingers even longer than a kiss.

Top notes: Cedar, Rose
Heart notes: Rose, Violet, Orris
Base notes: Civet, Jasmine, Moss

http://ayalasmellyblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/rose-thorn_11.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Nov 2009 13:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The town of Ypres (Ieper) looks like a small quiet town today with the gigantic cloth hall overlooks the market square of this beautifully rebuilt medieval town. The Ieper was a major cloth producing center in Europe in 1900s beginning. It was a beautiful town with a peaceful way of life. But hell broke loose over the town when the World war 1 started. Soldiers arrived in the town with the British Army in the autumn of 1914. From 1914-1918 the city became the center of fighting between the Imperial German Armies of Emperor Wilhem II and the Allied Armies of Belgium, France and Great Britain. The First Battle of ieper began in mid October 1914
Zie verder:
http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Ieper--ypres---Big-To-Small-And-Small-To-Big--Ieper-Since-World-War-1--/806852
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Nov 2009 15:11    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wisbech barrister launches book about his ancestor Thomas Wilson Bracken at museum

Last updated: 30/10/2009 06:58:00
BARRISTER Martin Gibson of Wisbech has written a fascinating book charting the life of his ancestor Thomas Wilson Bracken.

Servant of the Empire is being launched tonight (Friday) at Wisbech Museum.

The biography of his great grandfather is Mr Gibson's first book and gives a vivid account of the life of the eminent engineer and First World War captain.

He uses the eventful life of his ancestor to shed fresh light on the forgotten aspects of Victorian and Edwardian politics and society.

As a professional railway builder Bracken was instrumental in the development of Imperial trade in West Africa at the end of the 19th Century.

During the First World War he volunteered at the age of 50 to serve in the Royal Engineers where he played a key supporting role in the battles of Arras and Passchendale.

After the war Bracken published a number of letters and articles commenting on how the world had changed.

Mr Gibson studied history at New College Oxford and qualified as a barrister in 1990, practising from commercial chambers in Gray's Lane, London. He has lived in Wisbech since 2000 and is a trustee of both Wisbech Museum and The Wisbech Society.

• Servant of the Empire is published by Hayloft Publishing Limited and has its own website, www.servantofempire.co.uk, where further information is available and copies can be bought.

http://www.cambs24.co.uk/content/cambs24/news/story.aspx?brand=CATOnline&category=NewsWisbech&tBrand=Cambs24&tCategory=xDefault&itemid=WEED29%20Oct%202009%2016%3A00%3A08%3A130
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Nov 2009 15:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

What was it like in the trenches?

10:50am Monday 2nd November 2009

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THOUGHTFUL youngsters have been remembering the men who served in the trenches of the First World War.

With Remembrance Sunday falling at the end of this week, the Tudor House museum in Friar Street hosted a history day about the 1914-1918 war on Saturday.

Young families chatted with Glo Pringle – better known as Mrs History – about fighting on the Western Front and the hard work of those on the Home Front.

The event called Over The Top was held to mark 95 years to the day of the Battle of Gheluvelt in which the men of the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment held the allied line against the Germans, saving the day in October 1914. Youngsters were encouraged to find out about trench warfare but also the work of women as labourers, farm hands and nurses on the home front.

They were able to handle artefacts of the time including helmets, a Lee Enfield rifle, authentic 100-year-old army boots and an exploded artillery shell.

There was also poppy-making and colouring in with boys and girls encouraged to learn about why Britain remembers the human sacrifice made by this country in wartime.

Dressed as a First World War nurse, Mrs Pringle said: “I explain to visitors what life would have been like. It’s been a success, we’ve had lots of visitors and a lot of poppy-making.”

http://www.berrowsjournal.co.uk/news/local/4714493.What_was_it_like_in_the_trenches_/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 16 Dec 2009 9:11    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

WW1 REMEMBRANCE

WEDNESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2009

7563 Pte Ernest Pottage, 2nd Bn, East Yorkshire Regt
7563 Private Ernest Pottage of the 2nd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds on the 16th December 1914. He was a regular soldier who had been overseas since 8th September 1914 and who, judging by his army number, had joined the East Yorkshire Regiment in mid October 1903. This being the case he was almost certainly on the Reserve when Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914.

Ernest was born in Hull and enlisted there. He appears on the 1901 census as the fifteen year old son of William and Maria Pottage. The family (William and Maria and their five children) were living at 5, Edith Terrace, Sculcoates, Hull.

Ernest would have been 28 years old at the time of his death. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery in France.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

http://ww1remembrance.blogspot.com/2009/12/7563-pte-ernest-pottage-2nd-bn-east.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Dec 2009 22:12    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://fffaif.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/snow-in-polygon-wood/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Dec 2009 22:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het land van Stille Nacht
donderdag 24 december 2009Auteur: (jvh)
Rond Stille Nacht, het lied dat zo universeel is dat Britse en Duitse soldaten het samen zongen in de Eerste Wereldoorlog tijdens een wapenstilstand in de kerstnacht, is mettertijd een hele cultus gegroeid.

De streek rond Salzburg, waar het lied vandaan komt, presenteert zich tegenwoordig als het ‘Stille Nacht Land'. Het zijn dorpen waar de advent – de vier weken voor het kerstfeest – nog altijd intens beleefd wordt. Overal worden kerstmarkten gehouden met glühwein en zoetigheden, met tientallen kerststallen die de dorpelingen zelf uit hout gesneden en beschilderd hebben, en met koren die op de meeste onverwachte momenten in kerstgezang uitbarsten.

Het centrum is Oberndorf. De kerk waarvoor Mohr en Gruber hun lied schreven, werd daar na de zoveelste overstroming afgebroken, maar in de plaats ervan kwam later de Stille Nacht-kapel. Die trekt jaarlijks gemiddeld 250.000 bezoekers.

Authentieker is Arnsdorf, drie kilometer verderop. Het is het dorp waar Franz Xaver Gruber – de componist van het lied – les gaf. Het negentiende-eeuwse schooltje wordt nog altijd gebruikt. Erg stemmig is het barokke kerkje dat ernaast ligt: het orgel werd nog door Gruber bespeeld. Signaleren we ook het Stille Nacht-museum in Hallein, het stadje waar Gruber de laatste jaren van zijn leven doorbracht. Daar wordt de gitaar die de zangers tijdens de eerste uitvoering van het lied begeleidde, met gepaste eerbied bewaard.

En Stille Nacht wordt niet alleen in Oostenrijk gekoesterd. Een Amerikaanse diehard-fan liet in Frankenmuth, Michigan, een perfecte kopie van de Stille Nacht-kapel optrekken. Rond de kapel staan borden waarop de tekst van het lied in 311 talen te lezen is.

www.salzburgerland.com

www.stillenacht.at
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Dec 2009 9:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Schitterende blog(s)

http://uitgeverijsansevieria.blogspot.com/
ANDERE TAAL

BERT BEVERS
VANUIT DE VERTE
Hij droomt dat ginder een trompet
blinkend aan een lip wordt gezet,
dat er een trom begint te slaan,
dat hij met doden in ’t gelid moet staan,
dat oorlog weer is losgebrand.

Ik droom soms als een veteraan
(Hubert Van Herreweghen)

Kijk ook even bij zijn andere blogs:
http://www.blogger.com/profile/02217199314373764888

Bijv:
http://galleriacaleidoscopio.blogspot.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Dec 2009 22:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Historic battlefields.
War in the 20th century

First Battle of the Scarpe 9 April 1917- Territorial Force

The German retreat to the Hindenburg line had the most effect in the southern region of the proposed attack. The 56th (London) Division's attack was on a limited front, centred on the fortified village of Neuville Vitasse. The division's medical assets were orientated around its ADS at Achicourt, with a series of bearer posts [Agny then Beaurains] to the front line.[1] As with all attacking divisions, the field ambulances had reinforced the RAPs, placing 8 bearers forward to each attacking battalion. In keeping with most divisions on 9 April, the 56th Division had pooled all its remaining bearers under the command of an officer of one field ambulance.[2] This role, that of Officer Commanding Bearers [OC Bearers] was an attempt to correct problems from the Somme;

“The previous medical arrangements..., where a shifting personnel and a divided jurisdiction of field ambulance commanders had been somewhat confusing, were now changed; and a forward evacuation officer was appointed, whose duty it was throughout the battle to contrive and supervise the evacuation of all wounded from the RAPs to the main dressing station and walking wounded collecting station,”[3]

The tented sub-divisions formed the aforementioned ADS, using the cellars of a row of shops in the village square. The central nature of this location [the square] meant it was shared with both an ammunition dump and a vehicle park and frequently became congested.

“Our Field Ambulance arrived at the village of Achicourt near Arras, and set up its HQ as a MDS [sic] in a disused cafe, with cellars under, which joined up with those of the adjoining shops and buildings, adjacent to which was the narrow bridge over the stream by which all traffic had to enter the village and led to the square, only a short distance away.”[4]

This choke point was an obvious target for the German retaliatory shelling, an infantry platoon being wiped out in an adjacent building and the building containing the ADS itself was hit, the only casualties being the Sergeant's kit bags.[5]

At zero hour the assaulting units, whilst experiencing resistance, successfully entered the German trenches. As the attack progressed the RAMC pushed forward to maintain touch with the aid posts being established within the ruins of Neuville Vitasse. Casualties began arriving rapidly at the various posts, typically the lightly wounded first. The OC Bearers successfully managed his new responsibilities and maintained the critical junction between the regimental aid posts and the field ambulance throughout the day, all casualties moving rapidly down the evacuation chain.

Having survived the initial insult of injury, the cold, shocked casualty became a passive load in the gruelling journey “down the line”.

“...the bearers moved up from Agny. They passed through the shattered Beaurains, where a post had been established, and occupied a series of relays between that village and Neuville Vitasse, which had fallen in the morning's attack. By now the weather was very cold, sleet was falling at intervals, and the carrying across the scarred fields was made harder by the accumulating mud. Stretcher bearing went on intermittently through the night, but on the whole casualties were not heavy.”[6]

With the OC Bearers acting as one centralised, advanced, point of control the bearer division was able to react to movement and varying demands across their front. The pooled manpower also allowed for a reserve to be held, but under forward control, which in turn allowed for some relief of individual bearers. But if the opportunity for rest was more frequent the work was still hard and dangerous:

“They talk about a soldier going out + fetching a comrade in under shell fire-and he gets the MM or DCM, we are always under shell fire, I can't dump our stretcher + run for it to a soft spot, we have to plod on, up past the knees in mud- balancing on the edge of shell craters slipping + sliding, shells bursting above + in the earth quite all around us, its Gods mercy that we get thro but we have the patient to think of, + quickness probably means saving his life, so we go right thro it, not caring a damn + somehow when you get to the sap-head + safety, you laugh and joke at the capers.”[7] [underlining in original]

The existing records of the actual number of casualties passing through the 56th Division's chain seem somewhat confused. The ADMS, in his war diary, records 11 officers and 211 other ranks till the early hours of 10 April. The war diary of the unit running the ADS at Achicourt states 329 total.[8]It is difficult to reconcile this difference as the ADS were under instruction to wire the ADMS every 12 hours with the number of casualties treated. The most likely explanation is the ADS number includes men from other units and possibly prisoners of war, as these would be passed down the same evacuation chain.

The successful advance of the division required the aid posts to move forward. In the traditional, caterpillar like movement, the bearers vacated the cellars for an ADP to be set up early during 10 April, this in turn was replaced by an ADS on 13 April. Having taken over the cellars of a small house, the capacity of the ADS was very limited, only able to hold four patients at a time, this seems to have been an acceptable compromise against the benefits of the location.[9] In the first hours following it's opening, 30 casualties passed through, testimony to the efficiency of the evacuation chain at this point.[10] Further, ultimately unsuccessful, attacks were carried out by the division during 14-15 April, approximately 200 casualties being treated in this cellar on each day.[11] The evacuation of these casualties was conducted by hand back over the newly won ground. To keep the ADS clear and to minimise the casualty's exposure to the harsh environment it was no longer possible to follow the doctrine of evacuation under the cover of darkness, so until communications trenches were established it was the demands of a carry over the top.

Due to the relatively confined area of operations, the influence of the centralised control of the bearer officer and comparatively light casualties the 56th Division's chain of evacuation had held. The pooling of all bearers under one point of command and control had given a new flexibility to the RAMC's forward assets, allowing a rapid advance of medical facilities in support of the attack. Each unit in the chain had managed to maintain touch with the post to its front, ensuring re-supply of materials and a fluid passage through the extended chain of evacuation back to Achicourt.[12]

Zie verder:
http://alihollington.typepad.com/historic_battlefields/

En hij twittert:
http://twitter.com/AliHollington
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2009 22:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

World War I Photo Gallery & Poetry
(all photographs taken by John Stephens)
http://pages.interlog.com/~fatjack/vimy/page2.html
Nog meer foto's http://www.granitebrewery.ca/Great_War_guests/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Dec 2009 12:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Harry Lamin was born in August 1887 in the East Midlands of England. In 1917, aged 29, he joined up to fight in the First World War.

During his time in the army, he wrote letters home to his brother and sister. They were kept and handed down to me, his grandson.

I have transcribed the letters and added commentary so that references can make sense.

What has been produced is a moving and poignant account of an ordinary man's experiences in an extraordinary situation.

I have edited nothing. The spellings and grammar are exactly as Harry wrote them.

The intention of this blog is to publish the letters exactly 90 years after Harry wrote them. His first letter from the training camp was written on February 7th 1917. It will be published on the blog on February 7th 2007.

Each letter will appear on the correct date from then on. There are gaps where no letters are available for several weeks. I have no explanations. Maybe they were lost. I have no idea.



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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2010 17:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

We wear this blood-red poppy because of all the wars.

We wear this blood-red poppy in remembrance of all the lives lost.

We wear this blood-red poppy in honour of all the veterans.

And most of all, we wear this blood-red poppy in support of all the Canadian troops who have risked their lives for our great country of Canada.

John McCrae was the person who had first made the connection between the brightly coloured poppies and soldiers who had died on the battlefields. So, it is on this day, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, that we pause for a minute of silence, with this poppy pinned to our shirts, and remember all those courageous soldiers that risked their lives and blood, sweat, and tears so that Canada could be the safe, peaceful country that it is today. All of those people that fought in the First World War, Second World War, Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict, and the peace-keeping missions, have truly earned this day.

The history of the poppy and all of this violence and hatred began on June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, of Austria, was assassinated in cold blood. Of course, there were other factors that had provoked this assassination, but this main event had triggered the course of action that led to over 15 million deaths, WWI.

WWI was based on the balance of power between multiple countries, which were divided into two main opposing alliances. First, the Allies of WWI, also known as the Entente Powers, involved three major units, the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire. This later on accommodated: Belgium, Serbia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania, and the United States. The other alliance, the Central Powers, was derived from the German Kingdom, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austrian government declared war on Serbia, so Germany decided to become allies with Austria. On August 1, 1914, Germany presumed that Russia could not be entrusted with the state of being an ally, so Germany also declared a war on Russia. Two days later, Germany announced yet, another war on one of Russia’s alliance, France. The Germans, trying to obtain the most power, got overwhelmed by all their progress in the Great War, and sent forth an army into Belgium. Upon the other side of the whole war, the British Empire saw that the Germans were crossing the line in power and eventually proclaimed war on the helpless country of Germany.

The breakout of all these wars soon led to many countries facing the decision about where they stood in these conflicts. So, back and forth, countries aided each side in their wars against each other. Japan followed Russia in their fights against Germany, which later on lead to many Russian prisoners. Turkey helped the German side and France ganged up with the Russians.

These conflicts included: the battle of Ypres, the battle of Jutland, the battle of Verdun, the battle of Somme, and Passchendale. Through battles over the sea, the air, and on land; fought with militia, gases, and artillery, Canada was not only a witness to all of the horrors that went on during the First World War, but they were also in the middle of all the battles fought on the fields of many foreign countries.

Subsequently, on one war-torn day in May of 1915, during one of these many battles, specifically the Battle of Ypres, Colonel John Alexander McCrae was caught up tending the wounded as a medical officer on the battlefields. Of course, John McCrae had served in other parts of the globe during the South African War, but like most people, he never got used to the screams from fellow comrades or the blood-wrenched bodies lying motionless in the grass. Nevertheless, the British Empire was at war with Germany once again, and when John McCrae saw his best friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, get shot down by an enemy shell burst, his whole life nearly fell apart. Staying strong, McCrae had honourably performed the funeral service for his lost friend, and his last act of kindness for the lieutenant was the fifteen-line poem, “In Flanders Fields,” that he put together on the back of an ambulance, as he sat and pondered at the blood-red poppies that grew in the ditches of Ypres.

Eventually, WWI had resumed, and had lasted for more than three years, when Germany had finally had enough and signed a truce with the British Kingdom, France, and Russia. This piece of paper had been signed at exactly 11:00A.M., on November 11th. The war’s end had led to many new countries being formed in Europe and the Middle East, and sixteen-million deaths plus twenty-one-million wounded. However, as families back at home grieved their losses, they looked back and remembered a special man that had lightened many soldiers’ days, John McCrae, the medical officer who had written a poem about the war, and the wild poppies he saw growing everywhere. And, it is to this day, that people all over the world wear their blood-red poppies, not only in memory of the war and all the valorousness combatants, but also of John McCrae, friend, doctor, and cherished soldier.

http://spill-articles-essays.blogspot.com/2009/12/blood-red.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Jan 2010 20:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Canadian World War I & II Memorials and Cemeteries
Images from Flanders in Belgium, Vimy Ridge and Normandy in France

http://pics.momentaryshutter.com/memoriam/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Jan 2010 9:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

T4/238040 Sgt Gwilym Guy Collins, ASC
T4/238040 Sergeant Gwilym Guy Collins of the Army Service Corps, died in Gibraltar on the 6th January 1918. He was 22 years old, the son of Francis James and Florence Collins of "Southview," 16 Castle Road, North Finchley, Middlesex. Gwylm (or Gwyllm, according to Soldiers Died in the Great War), was born in Finchley and enlisted at Barnet.

Sergeant Collins is buried in Gibraltar's North Front Cemetery which "was used throughout the 1914-1918 War for the burial of sailors and soldiers who died on ships passing Gibraltar, or in the Military Hospital" (CWGC).

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
WW1 REMEMBRANCE
FIRST WORLD WAR REMEMBRANCE | 1914-1918 | THE GREAT WAR | WORLD WAR 1 | SOLDIERS DIED | IN MEMORIAM

http://ww1remembrance.blogspot.com/2010/01/t4238040-sgt-gwilym-guy-collins-asc.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jan 2010 10:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

“Het invoeren van de bodyscan past in die traditie: na een incident nog meer informatie verzamelen over nog meer onschuldige mensen. De autoriteiten doen wat dat betreft vaak denken aan generaals uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Na een mislukt offensief herhaalden ze dezelfde tactiek, maar dan met meer mankracht. Terrorismebestrijders hebben net als generaals de neiging om de vorige oorlog te willen winnen.”
Aldus Bart de Koning in zijn betoog over de mislukte aanslag in HP/DeTijd (nog niet online). Hij roept op tot het kritisch kijken naar ons antiterrorismebeleid.

http://sargasso.nl/archief/2010/01/09/weekendquote-de-vorige-oorlog/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Jan 2010 23:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kriegstagebuch von Dieter Finzen:

http://dieter-finzen.blogspot.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jan 2010 21:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Great War Heroes Weblog
Campaign Medals of The Great War, 1914-1918
The Great War of 1914-18 was fought on a scale never before witnessed and caused casualties and damage beyond any battle or war previous to it. In military, social and eonimic terms it was simply immense, touching practically every single Britsh family with millions of people, military and civilian, men and women involved from Britain and all over her empire.

It was quickly agreed that the large number of combatants that had taken part in the war were deserving of distinctive campaign medals. A first it was proposed to follow the same precedent as previous medals and produce appropriate clasps for individual campaign and battles. This is exactly how it worked for the Boer War of 1899-1902, for which there were no less that 26 clasps issued. And so, after the war a army and navy committees were set up to draw up a list of clasps..the army came up with 79 different clasps and the navy came up with 68 of the little blighters. Granted, these medals and clasps would have made researching the individual soldier/sailor much easier (you would know which battles he served in for starters!) but it would have meant that particular ‘busy’ soldiers/sailors would have had medals with ribbons that stretched down to their belly button!! Not a good look when on parade. Plus there was the small issue that Britain was economically on her knees after the end of the war, and as such the issue of the clasps to the medal was deemed to complex and costly to put into practise.

Lees verder:
http://worldwarone.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/campaign-medals-of-the-great-war-1914-1918/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Jan 2010 20:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Soldiers's mail,Letters home from the front 1916-1919.

Sam S. E. Avery #69762, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf.

Somewhere near Royaumiex, 5/31/1918

Dear Em

I have stretched out around me now four letters from you and one from Lena, yours of April 29, May 4, 8, 11, Lena’s of May 11, and I tell you Em it is great. I suppose the first thing I should mention is that Im feeling just the same as ever. You say it is very warm there, and it is the same here and has been now for quite some time. Im never going to complain again though about this kind of weather for after the dampness, cold and all around hard winter we spent on our arrival in France, I want sun and plenty of it. France is the place for sun too and I don’t think it can be duplicated any where else on the globe.

With a continual buzz of Allied planes in the air and an occasional drum fire of our batteries up toward the lines we are beginning to class this little village as a very peaceful home. The regiment is resting now, and believe me Em it is rest. Plenty of eats, plenty of sleep, and very little drill constitutes the days activities. Don’t worry about getting any news from the 103rd, for news of an outfit nowadays means a long casualty list.

I want to give the 104th the credit for to date they have lost more men than any other regiment. Yesterday there was held a very impressive ceramony in a little grave yard just in the back of this town, where some of our dear fellows have been laid to rest. Old Glory was flown to the nice balmy breezes and it sure was a welcome sight sparkling in the sun. There was three bands present and a representation from as many regiments. It made me think of the Memorial Days gone by when we turned out for the G.A. of the R. only it was my own comrades now, with more to follow. It must have been quite a day back there.

In your letter of April 29, you open up by saying that in my letter of March 17 I wrote as though I was in high spirit. Yes Em Im still in high spirit as well as every one of the A.E.F. For it is going to win Em. Of coarse Ive been very fortunate for Ive felt tip top all the way, which is half any battle.

Glad to hear that the Morgie has got the services of Lena again and that she is back into that work for it is well. Ill bet that is some church and when I get around Boston way again Im going to give some of the ushers a chance to take me by hand. OH you Hotel. How’s a kid. Tell Lena to give her my regards, for you see I remember her motherly care very well. Bully for you Pa and for the Bond too. Tough though on the $10 per stuff, but just think of the boys “over here” when they get back “over there” there wont be any at any price. As the French say (Say le Guerre.) meaning (it’s the war.)

No Em I never did have much to say, but Id talk if I was sitting at the table with you this morning don’t forget it. Very pleased to hear you get so much dough on the start and no doubt there is more in it for you. If I was there Id probably kid you a little myself but Id never get off kidding you now. That’s it Em have a good time this summer and Im with you in every one of them. Say Em tell Batty Coyne that it is about time the 5th Pw were getting here will you. There is an awful lot of broken wires out in N.M. Land that neads fixing.

Id have wiped those dishes for you so you could have finish the letter had I been there what Em? You said that you would have the pleasure of getting dinner the next day. OO La La and maybe it wouldn’t be pleasure fo rme to see it all done and ! Good luck to Billie Rogers how about it Bert, was you as good as any man in the house or (well you know) “Steve ODonnell was a gentleman.” Look Em Im going to grab off some chow hoping that the check you get today will be enjoyed as much as I will enjoy this. See you after the mess.

Now that the dishes are put in the old kit bag where I keep all my troubles Ill continue. You see Em Im going to send as good a letter as I can for after receiving so many from I feel as though one is due you. Tell Katherine Id like to see her garden, for I bet it looks pretty classy at that. You ask if I am getting all your mail. I guess I must be Em, although Im far from bashful in this respect.

So Mikie is a petty officer. I wonder if he is always happy now. I never saw his wife so therefor cannot enjoy the full benefit of her sorrowful story in regards to Poor Connie. So there are a lot more left yet. Well Em I figure the war to last a while yet too, so there may be room for them yet. As for Lena ironing, makes me think that although I do every thing but iron this outfit on my back a little ironing with some wax in the seam (well why go into it). I don’t know how many times you’ve spoken of Batty getting a furlough, but every time you do it reminds me that I haven’t had more than twelve hours at a stretch that I could call my own since Westfield, and, it is well. Yes I guess he will find the fellows in the Old Eighth as fine as any of them.

If I hadnt stuck to Capt. Tobey and come “over here” I would be well off in this 5th P. now. But I agree with you. Id rather be a private in France than a commissioned officer in the states. Im not going to stay a private in France either. Im sorry he lost his ribbons for if he felt it the way I did it was sour apples.

That motion picture must be very interesting but give me an Elsie Janis with some real live stuff and “No Mans Land” will be like a ball field to us. Excuse you for not writing longer letters? Why say Em you’re writing one long continuous one where instead of waiting a month for news I get mail from you just as sure as there is mail for anybody in the regiment. You said that they say you’re getting fat, OH you kid, keep it up. It must be very pleasant out Jamaica Plain way and Im very glad you landed the berth.

Well Ive gone through all your letters up to May 11, and tried to answer all you asked and added a little cheap stuff here and there too I guess. Ive got to answer Lena’s and then get after the others. Every night since we hit this place American planes fly over and give the Boshe a belly full of the poison they have been handing the Allies, and they get away with it too. I don’t know any thing about the submarines but I do know that we have got the best of the air now.

We are not in the drive that is going on now although you never can tell what tomorrow brings. By the time you get this we may be miles from here and if so there sure will be some thing doing. News will begin to come in very fast soon now and when that starts why, Ill write as long and as often as I can. I thank the Hollands for their best wishes and send best regards in return. I havent heard much from Little Mary latly but I trust that both she and Mollie, also Mack are well. Thinking it over this ought to reach you just about the 17th. Good Luck to the Old Town.

Heres hoping that this letter finds you all well and that you will not find the hot weather that you must by this time be getting unindurable. Ill close

With love to all

Sam

Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf. Am. Ex. Forces.

P.S. This is just to show you that I can write a letter without crouding to the very bottom of the sheet so that you cant read the last few sentences. Bon Jour.


http://worldwar1letters.greathistory.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Feb 2010 19:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

WW1 REMEMBRANCE

UESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2010

5046 L/Sgt Harold Edward Pitt, 2nd Bn, Coldstream Guards
5046 Lance-Sergeant Harold Edward Pitt of the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, died of wounds on the 2nd February 1915. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives the additional information that he was the "son of Francis John Pitt and Lilian Mary Ann Pitt (nee Turner), and the husband of Ellice Bertha Pitt of 131 Oldknow Road, Small Heath, Birmingham. Born in Erdington, Warwickshire."

Harold was a regular soldier who had been in France and Belgium since the 12th August 1914. His Coldstream Guards number dates to around March 1903 and so he was almost certainly on the Reserve when war was declared (and may not have done any active soldiering for eight years or more). He is buried in Lillers Communal Cemetery in France.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
http://ww1remembrance.blogspot.com/2010/02/5046-lsgt-harold-edward-pitt-2nd-bn.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Feb 2010 23:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Interessante blog:
http://struikgewas.blogspot.com/search/label/Eerste%20Wereldoorlog
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 0:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

An Inglorious War 1914-1918

Eyes blank, bodies shatter- soar in the current of hot air
then flumph into the dirt, broken, weightless flotsam
shared life and death in the unsung coffin of the trench
Unmitigated horror all around in hues of red and black
In the distance,the rat tat tat boom reveals reluctant day
No will to dawn on carnage bloody,brutal, hopeless
hoping none have lived to see theiring horses try to rise -
Disembowelled,entrails oozing sceaming for help but there
Are no words, no living hands to comfort their distress


Evil lives in this place hovers overhead
While Death waits with gentleling arms
For Death has no glorious lustre here
Nor will age weary glorious youth in sacrifice!
No honour in the children’s lives, so cheaply bought.
They lie forever now, entombed in time, beloved sons
beloved men of heart and soul, the flowers of the field,
extinguished forever in war's futililty and gloom of loss.

http://exstanza.blogspot.com/2010/02/inglorious-war-1914-1918.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 1:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie plaatjes:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertdijkstra/sets/72157623303063652/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 11:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

On WWI killing field, an iron harvest (Flanders Fields, ~90 years ago, the Battle of Passchendaele)
YPRES, Belgium - The summer plowing season in Flanders Fields is a good time for Ivan Sinnaeve.

Known as "Shrapnel Charlie," he keeps alive memories of one of history's bloodiest battles by melting down the World War I shells harvested by farmers and transforming them into toy soldiers which he calls "soldiers of peace."

The 54-year-old Belgian history buff has a huge following among war pilgrims visiting Flanders Fields, the battleground of 1914-1918.

Sinnaeve, a retired carpenter, is busier than usual this year, the 90th anniversary of the phase of fighting called the Battle of Passchendaele which saw some of the war's worst trench warfare and its first use of mustard gas.

A half-million Britons, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Germans were killed or wounded, fighting among villages and farms over five miles of muddy Belgian terrain. Drawn out over five months from June to October of 1917, Passchendaele became a symbol of senseless killing.

"I can't make them quick enough," said Sinnaeve, as he showed off some of the 250 shiny lead bagpipers he produced for the anniversary.

He was commissioned by local and Scottish organizers to make the six-inch tall Scottish Black Watch Regiment figurines from shells found in fields where the regiment fought.

He said he always asks the farmers where they found the metal they bring to him, "so I know which regiments were involved." He thinks some of the iron may be from the shells fired at the regiments he is now commemorating as "soldiers of peace."

lees verder:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/1863697/posts
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Mrt 2010 21:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

12 facts about World War 1
Saturday, March 6, 2010
The World War 1 was fought by the Allies on one side, and the Central Powers on the other.
World War 1 or the First World War, 1914 - 1918, was the first war that involved nations spanning more than half the globe.
The World War 1 was commonly called “The Great War” or sometimes “the war to end wars” until World War II started .
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. He was the heir to the Austrian throne and was murdered by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. This was the spark that caused war to be declared.
First known use of chemical weapons (mustard Gas) was in World War 1.
More than 70 million military personnel were mobilized in World War 1.
After the German march on Paris was brought to a halt, the Western Front settled into a static battle of attrition with a trench line that changed little until 1917.
More than 9 million died on the battlefield, and nearly that many more on the home fronts because of food shortages, genocide, and ground combat.
There were 70,000,000 men and women in uniform of that number one-half were either killed, wounded or became prisoners of war.
Germany surrendered on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.
By the war's end, four major imperial powers—the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires—had been militarily and politically defeated, with the last two ceasing to exist.
The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict.

http://factspage.blogspot.com/2010/03/12-facts-about-world-war-1.html
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