From the Men of 29th Division……

This understated 1918 Christmas card from the collection perhaps reflects the mixed emotions felt as the first peacetime Christmas for five years approached. Continue reading

Posted in Documents & Artwork | 7 Comments

Fourth Army Standing Orders: Adjutant-General’s and Quartermaster-General’s Branch 1917

Now this all sounds a bit dour, doesn’t it?  Continue reading

Posted in Documents & Artwork | 10 Comments

A Return Walk in the Palingbeek

It’s the afternoon of Armistice Day 2018, and the Palingbeek looks glorious in the late autumn sunshine.  Continue reading

Posted in Zillebeke | 8 Comments

‘They Shall Never See Spring Flowers Bloom Again’

A short post about the Chinese Labour Corps, because we come across their headstones on rare occasions, as I did a few weeks back, and because it allows me to show you this photograph of a mass of happy Chinese workers, and one seemingly very angry one, en route for Europe in 1917.  Britain, France and eventually the United States recruited some 143,000 Chinese workers between them to work in France & Belgium during the Great War, of which the British accounted for the majority, around 95,000.  The Russians also used Chinese labour, in numbers estimated at certainly 200,000, and perhaps as many as 500,000, but that, with revolution in the air, really is another story altogether. Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 13 Comments

Kilmainham Gaol Museum

I promised you a look around the museum at Kilmainham Gaol, and as this post is in effect Kilmainham Gaol Part Two, it comes fairly swiftly after the first.  Continue reading

Posted in Ireland | 4 Comments

The Easter Rising Part Eleven – Kilmainham Gaol

A change of tack for a couple of posts, as we return to the struggles taking place in Ireland in 1916 as, across the Channel, the Great War entered its twenty second month and the Battle of the Somme loomed on the horizon.  This is Part Eleven in our series of Easter Rising posts (Part One can be found here should you want to read, or even re-read, the whole account, particularly as many of the posts have been updated with additional photographs and text since first published), and in many ways the story of the Easter Rising ends here, at Kilmainham Gaol, where fourteen of the rebel leaders were executed by firing squad in May 1916.
Continue reading

Posted in Dublin - The Easter Rising | 8 Comments

A Question of Headstones

The white Portland Stone British military headstone that can be seen in CWGC cemeteries across Europe and elsewhere has entered iconic architectural status, not least because of the genius of the simple curvature to the top of each headstone.  I don’t know whether you’ve ever considered it, but British military cemeteries might have looked quite different had an alternate design been chosen. Continue reading

Posted in Documents & Artwork | 24 Comments