WWI

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WAR CULTURE: Cyrus LeRoy Baldridge I Was There

American artist and illustrator Cyrus LeRoy Baldridge published I Was There in 1919. The book contains over 30 illustrations, sketches, and paintings made by Baldridge during his time on the Western Front. Baldridge studied at the University of Chicago before searching out adventure as a ranch hand in Texas and joining the National Guard. With the outbreak of the […]

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‘In Flanders Fields’: a history of the poppy

The iron scent of blood stains the Remembrance Poppy. In the black-magic fields of Flanders and the Somme, corn-poppy petals are nourished by the memory of ‘the missing’. It is as if the souls of those who died there between 1914 and 1918 have been transformed into a million blood-red flowers, whose enduring image reaches […]

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Bullet fired by T E Lawrence found in the Arabian Desert

This Model 1911 Colt Automatic bullet, found by archaeologists at the Hallat Ammar Ambush site in 2012, was almost certainly fired by T E Lawrence himself. The bullet, along with other archaeological evidence unearthed during ten years of fieldwork, indicates how reliable his account of the Arab Revolt in Seven Pillars of Wisdom is.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: The ‘Iron Harvest’ on the Western Front

The original caption reads, ‘Some shell cases on the roadside in the front area, the contents of which have been despatched over into the German lines’ – matter-of-fact, official war-speak that belies the meaning of this vast heap of metal cylinders.

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GALLIPOLI: V Beach Madness

To mark Anzac Day 2015, MHM reposts Peter Hart’s action-packed article taking us into the inferno of the Gallipoli landings.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: Charge of the Royal Naval Division, 1915

This photograph shows infantry from the British Royal Naval Division climbing out of the trenches as if for a charge at the Battle of Gallipoli during 1915. Every man grasps their rifle with bayonet fitted, ready for the kind of close-quarters encounter with the enemy that it was expected – wrongly – would decide the […]

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World War I: Hill 60

Hill 60 was a low rise south-east of Ypres made from the soil removed in digging a cutting for the Ypres to Comines railway. It had excellent views over both Ypres and Zillibeke, and was captured by the Germans during the first Battle of Ypres in November 1914. On 17 April 1915, in one of the first tunnelling operations by the British Army, six […]

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Shell Shock

The term ‘shell shock’ was first used by military doctors in early 1915 to describe the physical ailments of a nervous breakdown. Initially, it was thought the cause was concussion of the brain by shock waves from a shell landing nearby. Before long, it came to sum up a broad range of symptoms, ranging from stuttering incoherently to being struck completely dumb (mutism); from being temporarily blinded to the […]

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