Category: british

 WW1, France, British and French soldiers in a…

                                                                      Cheers!

 WW1, France,
British and French soldiers in a village near the front – Numelyo – Bibliothèque numérique de Lyon, France

“Many of the men had been demobilised, or were…

“Many of the men had been demobilised, or were
waiting to be. The battalion spent the month training, and playing football and
games. They also found time to indulge in a spot of ice skating, or they at
least tried to…”

Early 1919, 2nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
in Cologne Germany – Text and photo: Durham at War

Note: Cologne city was the headquarters of the British Army of Occupation. Here, 3 fun photos taken
February 101919, showing British soldiers skating in Cologne.

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.