First World War Centenery

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by chieftiff, Oct 11, 2012.

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  1. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Cameron will be at the Imperial War Museum today to talk about the importance of Remembrance Day 2014. A little article in th elive politics feed here that also displays what I believe to be the greatest war photo ever taken (Passchandaele) no gore, no blood just a profound sense of OMG when you look at the battlefield (probably felt more in those who know the story and the sheer number of fallen but you can't help but ask yourself how they did that to an entire forest!)

    I think Remembrance Day 2014 should be a very special day, as the article says it is a once in a generation opportunity for us to remember, I think it should be a bit more than merely:

    "A new poll shows the public wants the centenary of the first world war to be celebrated with bells across the country and sports games moved to another day."

    Don't get me wrong it needs to be sombre and appropriate, not a celebration but a very special once in a generation reflection, that might include the ringing of the nations bells but not be defined by it.


    Cameron's first world war centenary speech: Politics live blog | Politics |
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  2. Of course Rememberance day 2014 should and no doubt will be an extremely important thing. Now all the combatants are passed, their deeds and struggles, well known to the majority. The pride with which so many march in London, is testimony to that reflection Chief.
    Lest we forget.:salut:
  3. ===========================


    Agree, there cannot be many families in the UK who were unaffected.

    This commemoration could help the young, and not so young, to appreciate the sacrifices made and hopefully encourage a further interest in historical events of that era.
  4. I've been all around the Ypres front (Tynecot, Menim Gate, Langemark etc) and it's certainly a shiver-up-the-spine place to visit. Our hotel was opposite the Hooge crater and the British trenches ran through the grounds, more poignant for me as my Grandad fought in the 2nd Battle of Ypres, he survived obviously. Any sceptics about the start of the war being marked (and there will be, waste of money etc etc) should go and have a look for themselves.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  5. Here,here. Well said.
  6. I spent last Saturday at the National Mememorial Arberitum, along with about 8000 was a real "strange moment" when the 2 minute silence took birds, no traffic...everyone silent.....
    16,000 names on the wall of those killed in conflicts since since the end of the WW2 and the very sad part is the huge empty wall area waiting for names to be added.

    I think if the politicians could spend a bit of time in these places, seeing the grief suffered by the relatives and friends, then these politicians might be a bit more thoughtful about sending our people off to fight without the absolute best kit and training..
  7. Not seen that picture before ... Mrs MG's great Uncle was killed at Passchandaele and was given his medals a while back Still in the packet unmounted with the original ribbons which I want to get mounted and put in a box frame.

    Did anyone see the BBC news report last week on the tunnels under the trenches. 80 foot down, all hand cut just wide enough for a man to walk through. Showed placed where the Germans had broken through into the Brit tunnels and signs of where hand to hand combat took place. Apparently bunch of military archaeologists have been finding all sorts of things down there and they are systematically unsealing some of the tunnels that are blocked by rockfalls / explosions and still have miles to go. The report was that they are sealing the tunnels up for the winter and starting excavations again next spring.

    BBC News - WWI underground: Unearthing the hidden tunnel war
  8. I saw that programme MG, quite spooky when they found that British helmet and stuff that's just been left there for the last 99 years or so. I'd love to be able to get down and have a look around.
  9. Just happened to be on when I flashed the TV up and the fact that Mrs MG's great uncle was still fresh in our minds made me take notice. It was a whole new revelation to me as I was under the impression that it was just trench warfare ... the fact that they actually mined under the trenches and tried to find each others tunnels just working with hand tools / picks etc I found unbelievable. Presume it would have been the Pioneer Corps and more power to their elbow! Respect!

    Interesting to see the article says that any bodies they find in the tunnels will be left and sealed back up while any bodies in the trenches are buried in the War Cemetaries. Also that they have the Bomb Disposal guys on hand to deal with any ordinance that they find ... and to think that when they find UXB from WWII they are normally pretty degraded and unstable ... WTF is ordinance from WWI going to be like? ... and having to deal with it in a small tunnel barely big enough to stand up in.
  10. As I mentioned earlier, one of the mines was set off at Hooge. It's in the grounds of the hotel I stayed in (very good as well, not too pricey and the locals have a great deal of respect for the Brits).

    World War One Battlefields : Flanders: Hooge

    They even made a film about the mines in 2010 called "Beneath Hill 60"

    Beneath Hill 60 (2010) - IMDb
  11. I hope whatever is planned not only gives pause for thought for a generation of young men that went willingly to war and was nearly annihilated.The losses and casualties were by today's standards horrendous but were accepted by the civilian population because they saw it as a just war and the Germans had to be stopped at any cost.
    When these commemerations take place the BBC will be front and centre to broadcast to the masses,I hope they do not ruin it with a presentation along the lines of the Jubilee river pageant.
  12. Have to say, I think this is an important thing to commemorate.

    My trip to Ypres 2 years ago was one of the most emotive things I've ever done. When you see your ancestor's name on a memorial (Tyne Cot), not a grave, just a name, when you walk around Sanctuary wood and you can see all the craters the shells made still there 96 years on, going to Langemarck and seeing 20,000 young men buried in the same mass grave. And the last post at the Menin Gate. I can't really put into words how that made me feel.
  13. Bit of a WW1 buff and have imersed myself in the subject. I have given a couple of briefs on the tunnelers. These men woere mainly from Manchester and London (not withstanding the Oz and Kiwi miners). The Mancs were generally miners and the Londoners were helping build the London underground. Whilst some were classed as Pioneers they were actually non-combattants and were "generally" left to their digging duties.

    The ordnance found in the tunnels is generally bagged up explosives. Not the conventional bombs you would imagine. Sandy from EODTIC went across on the late 90's to help out with the clearance of these bags and has some truly amazing phots.

    If you ever get the chance go to the Honfluer mine in France. This is now Brit owned and shows the huge scale of these mines.

    Quick dit for now. But look up "claykickers". This was the method used in tight areas. Also counter mining.

    Large handfuls but I am obsssesed with the WW1 History. This all came when I found out my great uncle served inthe DLI getting awarded the MC and dying 28th October 1918 having served the whole war.
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  14. I would be surprised if they did such a thing fishhead and, like you, sincerely hope that does not happen. I suppose in the days of 'entertainment' above all else it is a concern though.

    You used the word 'willingly' which may well have been the case at the beginning, but am sure that once the realisation that the trenches were places of terror and agony, coupled with an awareness that so much of that horrible conflict was a hangover from an empire which had started to fade, it was more peer pressure and, of course, conscription that sent them to war.
  15. Don't wish to skirt the seriousness of this thread but there's a lot about the 'Tunnelers' in the pretty well known Sebastian Faulks novel Birdsong. Don't read much non-fiction myself but, though there's a little bit of girlie lovey stuff, it's a good read and brings home the horrors those blokes must have suffered.

    Not seen the battlefields in France or Belgium but in the early 90s, whilst travelling from Istanbul to Izmir, we stopped off in Gallipoli for a couple of days and visited the fields there. I stood in one of the trenches at Lone Pine and the closeness of the opposition trenches was spooky. Hats off to Johny Turk though - immaculately kept graves. Bastards ran us all over Izmir mind, but that's a different story.

  16. Not a bad book apart from the love shit. It was on BBC sometime ago and was for a change better than the book.
  17. Phew, that was close. Thought we were going to agree for a moment there. The BBC production was good though. Nearly as good as the book :sign10:
  18. Mothers father fought at the Somme and was captured and forced to work down the German mines. Never talked about it when he came back only to say it was horrific.
    My dads mums first husband was in the Northumberland fusiliers and was killed whilst driving an ambulance in 1916.
    A tragic time to live in and must never be forgotten. Dads mum worked in munitions and I still have her picture from that time.
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  19. Great-granddad was gassed. He was blinded for a month, and suffered from lung problems for the rest of his life, which was tragically cut short, he died young, possibly due to the fact he never made a full recovery. His brother was on the Western Front from February 1915 to November 1918 without being wounded (barring a bout of trench foot in early 1918, according to the records I found). My Dad's great uncle was killed at Passchendaele, and has no known grave.

    There's a photo of my Great-granddad in his uniform in my Granddad's living room. He was only 18 when he joined the army at the start of the war, but looks much younger.

    On a note that was mentioned earlier, most young people are aware of WW1 and its significance, but I think for many it seems a bit irrelevant to their world. I don't know what to say about that point of view.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012

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