Mail: "The WW1 Wasteland: Haunting Rare Images Show Apocalyptic Destruction"

Discussion in 'History' started by soleil, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. Ypres has been rebuilt to it's original pre-1914 state and is well worth a visit if anyone hasn't been there. About a mile up the road the trench system is still in place around the area of the Hooge crater.
  2. I visited Ypres and the Menin Gate a couple of years ago and admit that it bought a tear to the eye. I also visited the WW1 experience in the Cloth Hall. With the entrance ticket you get the autobiography of a combatant, at the various exhibits you can follow their experiences. It was very moving to follow my "man" in and out of the trenches and try and take onboard what he went through. However, the tears came when he was killed in September of 1918. So Rest in Peace young man.
  3. Expect lots more of this as we run up to the various centenaries over the next few years. Unfortunately I suspect it will be just the same old one dimensional view we get rather than a more nuanced consideration of how it was actually fought. A really interesting book that explodes many myths is Blood, Mud and Poppycock which I'd really recommend.

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  4. Two members of my family died in this war. One with the Imperial Australian Forces, one with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
    Fred died at Ypres in 1916 age 26 and Harry on the Somme in 1918 six weeks before the end.
    I have letters in my possession all written to nearest and dearest (mom and wife).
    The thing that always strikes me from what we now know, is the everyday way in which they talk of whats happening and the rational of the events taking place.
    From history we know how horrific it was and even to us who have seen all kinds via film and Internet.
    Imagine people who were raised in quiet rural areas, non travelled and worldly innocent, suddenly facing that and then think deeply how us educated, well exposed types would fare.
    Mind boggling.
  5. arthur connolly's grave 003 (2).jpg My great uncle also served in AIF Rumrat.2nd Batallion. 6727 (Old sweat number) Private Arthur Connolly. Family lost touch with him. I did a bit of investigation on line.found out he'd been badly injured in France.Sent back to Oz on hospital ship and discharged. Seemed to suffer from what now called PTSD, and life fell apart. wandered aimless around Australia, and died of complications from wounds 1923. He was buried in a paupers,unmarked grave. I got on to Australian War Graves Comission, told them the story, and they did up the grave, and maintain it now.
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  6. That kind of casualty is typical of what thousands of poor bastards went through.
    Some were executed as cowards, suffering with what we now know was not remotely connected with lack of courage. My Australian great uncle Harry was Harry Foster, my dads moms brother, who served and died with the Australian Pioneer corps. He is recorded on the war graves records and his next of kin was his wife who lived in hewell Warwickshire where the family originated.
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  7. Taken from the war records ledger of casualties.

    First Name:Fred
    Date of Death:23/05/1916
    More Information:parents: George and Mary Ann Foster, of Park Cottages, Hewell, Redditch, Worcs.
    Service Number:966
    Campaign Medals:
    Fred Foster was entitled to the Victory medal, he also received the 1914 Star and the British war medal.
  8. Thats one of the sites I got information from. It was about 5 years ago, and the Australian Goverment was in the process of digitizing (is that a word?) the files. I must look again, see if anymore information on line.

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