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World War I - the 'Great War'

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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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61 of 70  Wed 4th Oct 2017 3:39pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1030

Waterstones This is the same as the Amazon one, Primrose but it does say they can get it.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Primrose
USA
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62 of 70  Wed 4th Oct 2017 9:12pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:191

Well, Trevor Harkin found George Taylor, complete with birthdate, death date, cemetery and regimental number. I am so grateful for and impressed by his helpfulness. Thanks again, MR, for the suggestion and thank you, Annewiggy, for the link to buy the book. It turns out there is no picture of George in it so I am back to dithering over getting it. Smile
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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63 of 70  Fri 6th Oct 2017 10:56am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

Primrose, good morning. Long before the Memorial Park, long before the Cenotaph, long before the poppies. A young Coventry soldier returned home, barely twenty-one, not physically wounded but badly traumitized by the war. The next morning, he bought and planted a tree in his father's garden, a remembrance tree. Often he would sit by it and tears would stream down his face. When neighbours heard of the tree women came and asked if they could put vases of flowers at the base of the tree, and flowers were planted by different people. One woman returned with a book of poems for him, but the soldier could hardly read - a local girl that knew him offered to come and read for him, they spent time together fell in love and married. Some months after, another soldier from a few doors away returned. He had lost his left arm just above the elbow, he also came and sat in the garden. The tree grew and the soldier got better, but some people still came and placed flowers at the tree. About 18 years on, the council informed them the road was to be widened, the garden and the tree would have to go. The soldier's father, backed by neighbours, protested strongly. A solution was reached - the garden would go but the tree could remain but in the middle of the pavement. This was around the time of Trinity Street being built. The tree remained there until well after the Second World War. So was this Coventry's first, and probably England's, first tree of remembrance? I have a photo of the father and son, in the corner you can just see the branches of the tree that's in the pavement.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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64 of 70  Fri 6th Oct 2017 11:26am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

When my father came home from the war, he brought back a number of picture postcards - put together in columns, they made a picture about 2ft high of Jesus. The outside of the postcards were different little French villages, put into a frame this was a talking point for all that saw it. My father had often talked of Ypres so in the fifties I visited the battlefields around Ypres, I visited churches, museums, picture galleries, etc. but never found a picture of Christ like the one we had on the postcards.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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65 of 70  Wed 11th Oct 2017 9:55am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

Most people when they talk about the WW1 talk about the 'gassing' but I was told, the Germans (Boche) did use gas but it had a smell about it, so they donned respirators but still had high casualties - it took away the offensive to the defensive. Then in the spring of 1917 at Ypres the Germans shelled the British lines with a new gas (mustard gas) but this had little smell so the Tommies took little notice of it. But the men were blinded by it and choking, thousands had to leave the front line - it was an oily liquid gas that evaporated slowly, and by the time their eyes were smarting it was too late. If they got it on their boots it would go through and burn their feet, if they stayed in the dugout long it gassed everyone else. Rain, mud, lice, the stench of horse carcasses, all added to the Tommies' war.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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66 of 70  Thu 12th Oct 2017 10:28am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

Right from a small child I heard stories about the First World War. It was still fresh in people's minds then, men were still dying from it, and now this forum has re-awakened those stories for me. I remember father talking about Chinese coolies - it wasn't until I was in my thirties that it dawned on me that when small we had been to the Hippodrome and saw a Chinese act. I had never seen a Chinese person before and must have asked questions. But it was when I was older and we had had the blitz that he told me the grim side of the war. It had been quiet for a couple of days around Ypres and the generals thought the Boche had retreated to better and new lines, so a platoon was sent forwards to find out - this was a suicide mission if they were still in the same line of trenches. They went over the top in open formation, a couple of yards between them. They were about a hundred yards from those trenches when two shots rang out and two men fell - the others dived into shell craters. They realised this was a lone sniper, and the shots were from a small clump of broken tree stumps. They threw grenades and followed it with a withering fire of shots and advanced. No more shots. A broken stump of a tree had been hollowed out, inside was a German sniper, a slit had been made in the trunk of the tree for firing. He was only about 14 years of age. They found many child soldiers in the next few days. The Boche had retreated and the Army advanced and took over the old German trenches.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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67 of 70  Fri 13th Oct 2017 4:38pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

Let's not forget that in 1914 Coventry was made up by a number of pretty little villages, that fields and farms ran almost to the centre of the city and everything was done by horses, the milk was delivered by horses, butter was collected from the farms by horses, the delivery of most things into the city was done by horses - people loved horses and treated them as pets. But the Army came round and took two thirds of them away. The boat people lost a great number of their working force. It was all to sad. Most of these horses landed up close to the battle lines, shocked, dazed, sometimes up to their bellies in mud and water, scared by the noise of the guns, hit by shrapnel. Some soldiers were more moved by the plight of the horses than of themselves, a number of soldiers had to be moved to rest centres to recover their composure.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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68 of 70  Sat 14th Oct 2017 1:09pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

Incredible as it may seem: WW1 - two youths joined the Army, became pals, after two weeks training they were sent out to France, then sent to a regt but the regt was sent to the reserve trenches a few yards behind the frontline, and a bombardment started. The soldiers in the front line moved forward. The reserve line moved forward to the front line. And word came when the bombardment stopped they were to go over the top. A shot rang out and one of the boys dropped dead, he had accidentally been shot by his mate, while trying to load his rifle. Lack of training, nerves, whatever. WW2 - 1945/6 time the Army stopped training with some of the old weapons, the 9mm pistol was one. Two soldiers finished their training and was sent to the Middle East to a battalion, then to A Company. A couple of days later and two platoons of A Company were sent out on a special mission, they were each issued a 9mm pistol. The two new soldiers were larking about, never handled a pistol before, when one went off and killed his mate. My father witnessed the first and I witnessed the second.
World War I - the 'Great War'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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69 of 70  Mon 16th Oct 2017 10:33am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1734

NeilsYard, I think people should check on that before they visit. As far as I know it's a French war grave, about a quarter of a million French soldiers, I don't think there is one Englishman in that cemetery.
World War I - the 'Great War'
NeilsYard
Coventry
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70 of 70  Mon 16th Oct 2017 11:59pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1538

Indeed mainly French Kaga but still equally tragic
World War I - the 'Great War'

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