BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – Calamity with a ‘K’

It was a bold tactical concept. With war looming in 1913, the Royal Navy requested a submarine with sufficient surface speed to operate alongside the fleet in combined actions. Conventional submarines were powered by a diesel motor on the surface, which also charged the batteries for use while submerged. In order to achieve the required […]



Larry Collins looks at the function of theatre entertainment during the First World War and its role as unofficial recruiter, propagandist, and fund-raiser. The usual location for entertainments was at depots and rest camps in the rear, but there was always the YMCA canteen hut situated a short distance behind the front-line trenches. At one […]


YOUR MH – ‘A model of what a war hospital under canvas should be’

Michael MacCallan’s grandfather Arthur was an ophthalmic surgeon. He helped convert Travelling Ophthalmic Hospitals into WWI military hospitals for the support of the sick and wounded of the Suez, Gallipoli, and Salonica campaigns. This is his story. In 1903, when Arthur MacCallan (1872-1955) had just finished his residency at Moorfields, an oculist in Egypt asked […]

YOUR MH – the case of Albert Rickman

Albert Rickman was born in Milford-on-Sea and lived with his parents, Charles and Anne Rickman, at 4 Carrington Terrace. On Friday 15 September 1916, at the age of 27, he was executed following a court martial for desertion. Retired army officer and local resident John Cockram investigates the circumstances surrounding his death. In August 1914 […]

B_of_Jutland_-_plan web

Jutland — fleet movements

In our Jutland — the combat experience feature this month, Peter Hart reconstructs the action of the battle using personal accounts of men who were there. This map has been designed to aid you place the movements of the battling fleets geographically, and shows the clashes during the battle between 31 May-1 June 1916. This is […]

WW1 Conscription Posters

Your country needs you – and hundreds of thousands had come forwards. So at first, it was a war of the willing. But by late 1916, the Western Front had consumed three armies – the Regulars, the Territorials, and then the Kitchener volunteers – and it became, perforce, a war of the conscripted. Taken from our article […]


5 reasons why was the Battle of Caporetto 1917 was so decisive

The Battle of Caporetto in 1917 was a decisive victory for Germany, and one in which 25 year old German lieutenant Erwin Rommel showed signs of his future greatness. It was an spectacular victory, which brought Italy to the brink of national collapse. But how were they able to so successfully overcome the far larger Italian […]

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