Category: british

BRITISH FRONT – Oct 18, 1918 —To go into…

BRITISH FRONT – Oct 18, 1918 —To go into Lille this
morning was as good as anything that can come to a man who had seen four years
of war, and I am glad that I have lived to see the liberation of that city. I
saw the joy of thousands of people who, during all those four years, have
suffered tragic things, unforgettable outrages to their liberty and spirit.

It seems a miracle to them, now that it has come suddenly, and
they fill their streets like people in a dream. I saw the joy of vast crowds
and It was overwhelming. A lady broke through the ring, and, clasping both
hands, said: “I embrace you for the joy you have brought us.” She
kissed one on both cheeks, and it was the signal for general embraces.

The New York Times Current
History: Oct.-Dec., 1918 – Photos: October 1918,  the British army enters Lille, France
Library of Congres & La Contemporaine

“God save the king. Gott strafe England, God t…

“God
save the king. Gott strafe England, God this, God that and God the other thing. Good God!
said God, I’ve got my work cut out!”

WW1, British Poet J. C. Squire humorous verse making fun of the Germans’ “May God Punish England” – Photo: WW1, British humor at the front: in Sorny, France, a British heavy battery installed beneath a German “Gott strafe England“ sign, meaning “May God punish England”.

                                              …

                                                       

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us

On Sunday October 13th 1918, the abbé

THUILLIEZ of Cambrai held
a thanksgiving service in the Cambrai Cathedral for the deliverance of the town  and those who fell during the fight. Civilians who remained hidden came out when the Canadians entered the town, and joined in the prayers. They are front row left of
photograph. Troops and civilians sung the “De Deum” and
“Non Nobis”, Christian hymns

used as prayers of thanksgiving and expressions of humility. (Not unto us, O Lord, ect.)

The Battle of Cambrai

“October 10 1918 – Nearly 10,000 French …

“October 10 1918 – Nearly 10,000 French civilians have been liberated from the Germans by the
advancing British and Americans. Four thousand civilians were
found in Bohain alone. They were in a pitiful
condition, having been without food for three days when rescued. Tears of joy
coursed down their emaciated cheeks.”

October 10 1918, Battle of Cambrai, France – The New York Times –The European War. Vol 17 –  Photo: October 10 1918 –  British soldier with little children (some wearing German helmets) in Bohain, near Cambrai – Imperial War Museums

                                              …

                                                                      KAMERAD

1918 – Two
British soldiers digging a vegetable garden near Fruges, France. The
scarecrow is made in the shape of a surrendering German soldier. Imperial War Museums

“Their grit was wonderful to see. Here and the…

“Their
grit was wonderful to see. Here and there their jokes would create roars of
laughter with their inimitable wit : they refused to be depressed.”

The History of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 1914-1919

Image: The awesome
men of The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry having a fun breakfast somewhere
in the Somme, France. Source.

Note: this great
scene is featured in Peter Jackson’s
superb new documentary, The Shall Not Grow Old . Jackson’s film brings The Great War to
life in breathtaking details. “The
faces, the people come to life in this film – in this movie we just talk about
the social and human experience of being in the war – it’s going to be a
surprising film to bring to life the reality of war on the front line
for a whole new generation. Footage has been colorized, converted to 3D and
transformed with modern production techniques
”  Peter Jackson

“Their grit was wonderful to see. Here and the…

“Their
grit was wonderful to see. Here and there their jokes would create roars of
laughter with their inimitable wit : they refused to be depressed.”

The History of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 1914-1919

Image: The awesome
men of The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry having a fun breakfast somewhere
in the Somme, France. Source.

Note: this great
scene is featured in Peter Jackson’s
superb new documentary, The Shall Not Grow Old . Jackson’s film brings The Great War to
life in breathtaking details. “The
faces, the people come to life in this film – in this movie we just talk about
the social and human experience of being in the war – it’s going to be a
surprising film to bring to life the reality of war on the front line
for a whole new generation. Footage has been colorized, converted to 3D and
transformed with modern production techniques
”  Peter Jackson

                                   ‘You know, …

                                   ‘You know, it doesn’t
do to take this war too seriously
.’

“It
was a great saying, a philosophy which had kept men sane. Without laughter,
somehow, anyhow, by any old jokes, we should have lost the war
long ago. The only way to avoid deadly depression was to keep smiling. And so, for laughter’s sake and to keep normal in abnormal ways of life, there was a great
unconscious conspiracy of cheerfulness among men.”

The 54th Infantry Brigade, 1914-1918: Some Records of Battle
and Laughter in France
– Photo: WW1, in Bazentin-le-Petit, Northern France, British soldiers’ big smile.

                                              …

                                                            Nothing to eat!

‘August 8 1918 – Mais
oui—me voila, dans un Foyer du Soldat—the French idea of a Y. M. C. A. It’s not
bad, this—pour les Français; but for me— (business of shrugging shoulders).
Plenty of French magazines, writing desks, a piano, neat decorations, charming
English-speaking French lady in charge—BUT nothing to eat!’

British soldier in the Baccarat sector – Who Won the War?: Letters and Notes of an M.P. in Dixie,
England, France and Flanders
– Photo: Foyer du Soldat in Réméréville,

Baccarat Sector, France.

“Gave us Red Cross bands for our arms. Tells u…

“Gave us Red Cross bands for our arms. Tells us not to
wear them in camp — will get them dirty. Oh, dear.”

American
ambulance driver’s diary in Rambluzin, Verdun sector, France Diaries of Samuel Keplinger

Photo: about
Red Cross armbands or brassards
–  July 1918, France; these men who were
gassed  are on their way to the gas ward of an evacuation
hospital. Note the pristine condition of the Red Cross Brassard worn by the
medical orderly on the left, compared to the rumpled condition of the Red Cross
Brassard on the arm of the combat first aid man to the right.

Beneath the photo is an example of a WWI  Red Cross Brassard. These were made from a lightweight, white
cotton material with a red wool cross spanning the entire height of the
brassard. 

Source: U.S. Army
Brassards & Armbands 1882 to 1918, Part 1 –