Category First World War

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae is remembered for what is probably the best known and most popular of all First World War poetry.  It is believed that he was so moved by the death of his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmet, who had been killed by a shell burst, and inspired by the profusion of wild poppies he could […]

A nurse at the Russian Front

One of the books on my shelf is ‘Nurse at the Russian Front’ – the diary of Florence Farmborough who went to Russia as a teacher of English to a surgeon’s daughters and became a nurse with the Russian army through the 1914-18 conflict. Her diary for this day – Monday 23rd August 1915 – […]

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

It was on Sunday 26th July 1936 that England’s King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicated the throne, officially unveiled the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Dedicated to the memory of the Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War, it also serves as the place […]

A soldier on the Somme writes home

On the 2nd July I posted a short piece about the Battle of the Somme.  Just a little while later on Monday 10th July 1916 we have Raymond Asquith writing to his wife Katherine from the Western Front: ‘I agree with you about the utter senselessness of war, but I do not think about it […]

Sunday 2nd July 1916

Field Marshal Douglas Haig was a senior officer of the British Army who, during the First World War, commanded the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front from late 1915 until the end of the war. This day – Sunday 2nd July 1916 – was the second day of the Battle of the Somme and […]

John Readitt VC enlisted this day

This is the story of Private John Readitt VC – a member of The Duke of Lancaster Regiment in conflict; Manchester United football boots in business and Lancashire Infantry Museum in peace.  John Readitt was the Victoria Cross winner who looked after the football boots of Manchester United Football Club.  Born in Clayton, Manchester, in […]

A Nurse at the Russian Front

The name Florence Nightingale is well known the world over for her work in the Crimean War. Much less well known, but no less brave and committed, is Florence Farnborough – a nurse on the Russian Front in the 1914-18 conflict. The following is my precis of her diary of late January 1916. Florence and […]