Category: ww1


                                                                 Celebrating a little

“Tell the
neighbors for me,

There is going
to be

A wedding here
tomorrow noon,

We’re goin’ to
start our honeymoon;

Just my
sweetie and me,

And we won’t
go over the sea;

We’ll stay
right in town,

Tickled to
settle down

In the land of

Text: WW1, “Gee! but I’m glad that
I’m home again with you “
by  Zeph fitz-Gerald

Photo: May 1919, American soldier, home
again, and “celebrating a little”. The Indiana Album – Kris Bowman Collection

I’m so glad that I’m home;

I’m so glad that I’m home;

And I never will roam

Away from dad and mom’s door,

The place that I’ve been longing for.

There’s a million like me,

Who are back from over the sea;

They’ve all got the same

Melody on the brain

And it’s mighty sweet to me;

“Gee but I’m glad that I’m home again with you”

Zeph fitz-Gerald

Estonian and White Offensive Towards Petrograd

May 18 1919, Narva–The arrival of British naval forces in December had turned the tide in Estonia, and by the end of January the Estonians had retaken Narva, securing their frontiers.  Efforts to secure peace with the Soviets (via mediation from the Hungarians) fell through after pressure from the British, and by May the Estonians had decided to launch an offensive into Russia along with the Royal Navy and White forces under the overall leadership of Yudenich (formerly of the Caucasus front). The offensive began in force on May 18, and soon made considerable progress.

Their cause was helped soon by a mutiny in the Krasnaya Gorka fortress on the Gulf of Finland, most of the way to Petrograd (only about twice as far from Petrograd as Kronstadt is).  The Estonian government, hopeful that their Ingrian allies would reach the mutineers, chose not to tell the Whites until it was too late; swift action by Stalin crushed the mutiny with naval forces from Kronstadt, and the immediate threat to Petrograd was removed.  Unsurprisingly, Stalin saw enemies everywhere, and soon after this success, executed 67 officers from Kronstadt on trumped-up charges.

Sources include: Prit Buttar, The Splintered Empires.



“I am not afraid”

“They call me ‘The Girl with Nine Lives.’ Well, if the
description is right, I am pretty certain that I have lost eight of the nine
already, for it is a rather weird coincidence that in my career as the
‘hazardous Helen’ there have been just eight occasions when I really did come
within a fraction of an inch of losing my life. But I am not afraid; I am just
going to keep on carrying out the actions of thrilling scenarios. Only I hope
the ninth extra narrow escape is a long, long way off.”

WW1 era, HollywoodHelen Gibson, aka the “Girl with Nine Lives” and “Daredevil Helen”, is considered Hollywood’s first woman stunt performer. She began her stunt
career in 1914 in The Hazards of Helen, as a heroic railroad telegrapher who has to fight railroad villains while leaping on to moving trains from cars and
horses to save lives. The Hazards of Helen ran from 1914 to 1917

Bizarre Los
by Craig Owens, photographer and author of the
book, Haunted by History, Vol. 1

Photo: 1916, Helen Gibson is not afraid
– Ministère de la culture, France.

Other sources: The Movie Magazine: A National Motion
Picture Magazine
Volumes 1-2 – Silent Mystery and Detective Movies: A
Comprehensive Filmography



‘Take me where you like”

“I must have ridden round the town several times without finding an entrance. It was now getting
bitterly cold and, having smoked all my tobacco, I was utterly fed up and on
the point of off-saddling and using the saddle blanket to wrap round me till
daylight came, when I noticed my mare pulling in a certain direction. In a fit of despair I dropped the reins on
her neck and said, “Take me where you like”, and off she went. A few minutes
later, I was nearly thrown out of the saddle when she leapt over a trench, but a
few minutes after that, she had taken me straight back to our horse lines. Never before had I realized what a pal a horse could be.”

Farewell to the Horses: Diary of a British
Tommy 1915-1919
– Photo: Royal Engineers Dispatch Rider
Howard Hands –‏ @DanHillHistory’s
awesome twitter feed.


                                              ‘Why do you keep botherin’ the President?”

”You ladies must know that this is
goin’ a bit too far! Why do you keep botherin’ the President? Don’t you know he
has got enough to think about with the Peace Conference and fixin’ up the whole
world on his mind?“

, New York City,

sailors and soldiers shaming the women suffragists who
attempted to walk toward the Opera House, where President Wilson
was giving a speech – Jailed for Freedom by Doris Stevens,
American suffragist, woman’s legal rights advocate and author. Between 1917 and
1919, Doris Stevens was a prominent participant in the Silent

Photo: American suffragist being shamed by a crowd of
men and arrested by the police for picketing at the White
House gates.

Other sources: President Wilson and Women’s SuffrageWomen of Protest The Prison Special: One Last Push
for Women’s Suffrage

Greeks Land in Smyrna


Greek troops in Smyrna on May 15.

May 15 1919, Smyrna [İzmir]–After the Italians pulled out of the peace conference, they began to start occupying their demanded territories without waiting for a peace settlement.  While unwilling to provoke a war with Yugoslavia over Fiume, there was little stopping them in Anatolia, and in late April occupied Antalya, followed in early May by Fethiye, Marmaris, and Bodrum further west, close to the Italian-occupied Dodecanese.   To forestall further Italian landings to the north, the Big Three, agreed on May 6 to Lloyd George’s suggestion that the Greeks should occupy Smyrna; the Italians learned of this when they returned to Paris the next day. 

The landing, which occurred on May 15, did not go smoothly; while there was no organized Turkish resistance, the occasional shot was fired at the Greeks, who retaliated fiercely; several hundred Turks were killed, and Turkish houses were looted by both Greek troops and parts of the local Greek population.  In the coming weeks, Greece would occupy their zone of occupation around Smyrna, and they would remain there for over three years.

Mustafa Kemal left Constantinople the next day for Samsun in Anatolia, hoping to reorganize a Turkish resistance to the Allies who seemed prepared to carve up the country.  The British in fact gave him the visa to leave the capital, hoping that he would restore law and order in Anatolia.

Sources include: Roger Ford, Eden to Armageddon.

Soviets Respond to Food Relief Offer

Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930).  His Fram expedition had reached 86°13′ N in 1895.  Undeterred by the failure of the 1919 relief offer, he would try again, with some more success, in 1921.

May 15 1919, Moscow–After the idea of a conference on Prinkipo fell through, the Allies had little contact with the Soviets, apart from an American mission which was ignored, and Smuts’ very indirect approach via Béla Kun.  In large part, this was because they did not want to; the French hated the Soviets, as did much of Lloyd George’s coalition.  News from Russia was limited and of exceedingly poor quality (The New York Times printed headlines in May claiming that Petrograd had fallen to the Finns), but what little there was suggested a humanitarian crisis in a country now completely cut off from the outside world.  Hoover, head of food relief in Europe, suggested that food relief be extended to the Soviets as well–this would help the people of Russia and possibly help bring Russia back into the community of nations.

To avoid the perception that this would be yet another Allied intervention in Russia, Hoover proposed that Russian food aid be organized via a prominent neutral–Fridtjof Nansen, the famous Norwegian explorer.  Under Nansen’s leadership, Norway and other neutral countries would deliver food and medical aid to Russia, provided ceasefires were arranged in the civil war.  The offer went out from Berlin (as the Allies refused to send it), and on May 15 the Soviets responded.  Lenin had instructed Chicherin and Litvinov to be “extremely polite to Nansen, extremely insolent to Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau,” and they were, rejecting outright the idea of ceasefires without a formal peace conference.  The Allies would do nothing else that attempted to reach out to the Soviets during the remainder of the Paris Peace Conference.

Sources include: Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919

May 15 1919 the Greco-Turkish War starts. Foug…

May 15 1919 the Greco-Turkish War starts. Fought between Greece and the Turkish National Movement during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May 15 1919 and October 11 1922

May 15 1919 IWM (Art.IWM ART 2624) “The …

May 15 1919 IWM (Art.IWM ART 2624) “The flag-draped coffin of Edith Cavell lies in the centre of the composition with a guard of honour standing on either side.” painted by Hatherell, William