Category Archives: First World War

Pictures from Messines and Bullecourt to mark ANZAC Day

25 April is ANZAC Day, the day for remembrance of the thousands of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who crossed the world from Australia and New Zealand to fight in the two great wars of the 20th century. I … Continue reading

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Contrasting stories of brothers killed in the First World War

This is about the stories behind plaques commemorating two brothers who both died in the First World War. The plaques are at Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire. Something about their wording made me want to find out about them. I am … Continue reading

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Following the trail from Ipswich to Rifle Trench near Arras

By the end of this story, a proper expert in the field had effortlessly summarised that which took me a while to dig out. I enjoyed the chase anyway, and set it down here more for my own recollection than … Continue reading

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Retracing my steps from 35 years ago from old pictures and StreetView

It is 6 April 1982. We are in a cafe in Megève, just north of Italy’s Alpine border with France, having some coffee before setting off across the snowy Alps. Opposite us, a man is reading a newspaper whose headline … Continue reading

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Imperialist poppies distress and offend the weak-minded: diluting the language of persuasion

A motion debated at the students union of the University of East Anglia (UEA) asserted that some people consider that the red poppy stands for the “imperialist nature” of the British army; it is “a political symbol with multiple offensive, … Continue reading

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Writing to please myself: discoveries of things I was not in quest of

Is there any point in an amateur writing yet more words about the First World War? What photographs can one take of cemeteries or former battlefields which have not been taken 1,000 times before by everyone from top-flight professionals to … Continue reading

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