World War 1 – 100 years ago today

4 August 2014 23:00

As you will almost certainly know, it is exactly 100 years since Britain went to war with Germany, August, 4th at 11pm. It’s a subject I’ve always been interested in, although I never knew my grandfather who was involved in it from the beginning, he was one of those crazy youngsters who lied about his age to join up.

Although I have studied the war, it’s really the social history of it which interests me most, and to that end I’ve collected postcards from the time, all sorts of different ones – sentimental, patriotic and humorous.

Below is one which must have been sent to many a soldier from sweethearts, reassuring them that no matter what their injuries might be, they were still loved.

WW1  Postcard

11 responses to “World War 1 – 100 years ago today”

  1. Lorraine Wacob S. says:

    Your readers may be interested in the works and wartime poetry of Vera Brittain, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Also authors Peter Englund, Alistair Horne and Margaret MacMillan. This Yank was intrigued in reading WWI accounts from the British perspective.

  2. Valerie says:

    That postcard is infinitely touching.

    • Katrina says:

      Valerie,
      It is but what gets me is the fact that the people who sent postcards (mainly soldiers) didn’t put any info on them other than their first name. I always wonder if they actually survived but I’ll never know.

      • Evee says:

        You could look up their names on the Commonwealth War graves Commission website. If they are known to have died in the war, and a grave exists it will tell you where they died and which cemetery they are buried in.

  3. TracyK says:

    Very interesting about your postcard collection.

  4. Evee says:

    I was at the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle last night and as we arrived we were all given a tiny battery operated nightlight for later. After the (very good) show which had the theme of Scots travelling the world, we found that our little candles were to be lit as a symbol of lights going off all over Europe as Britain entered the war with Germany. As the lights went out all over the castle we switched on our little lights and held them aloft! It was quite an emotive moment. We were asked to take them with us as we left and not switch them off till 11pm which was the time the war began. As far as I am aware my extended family only lost one member, who died in 1917 in Mesopotamia.

    • Katrina says:

      Evee,
      That must have been very atmospheric. I watched the service from Westminster but I didn’t think it was emotional at all because when the last candle was put out at 11 pm the place was obviously still flooded with electric light.
      My family was very lucky in both wars, we didn’t lose any soldiers although we had them all over the world, one in a Japanese camp, an amazing survivor but I’m sure they were all damaged somehow. We had a couple of civilian deaths. My great grandmother was killed by a bomb falling on her house in Glasgow and a baby was killed in its carry cot, by falling debris.

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