F. R. Leavis as a member of the Friends Ambulance Unit Jessica Meyer’s talk at Leeds last week was about the Friends Ambulance Unit. She mentioned that, especially later in the War, the main work of the Unit was on the ambulance trains that took the wounded from the war zone to the channel ports. […]
Category Archives: Military
There’s an interesting short film on the BBC website about tunnels under the Somme. Click here to see it.
2nd Lieut. Paul Fussell. I was saddened to hear of the death last week of Paul Fussell. He is a critic whom I have often argued against, in these blog posts and elesewhere, but he was an important writer and an invigorating one. I would argue that he got many things wrong in The Great […]
The Royal Flying Corps was founded in 1912. On the BBC website there’s an interesting anniversary article about its origins, and how it developed during the War.
Not everyone was pleased when the Armistice ended hostilities on 11th November, 1918. John Glubb, a young officer in the Royal Engineers, wrote in his diary: Alas, the war is over, at the time when it was beginning to be exciting and enjoyable, after all these years. Glubb was annoyed that the recent months of […]
The Blue Cross animal charity has put a First World War archive online, with posters and other documents. It includes an interesting booklet, ‘The Drivers’, Gunners’ and Mounted Soldiers’ Handbook to Management and Care of Horses and Harness. Issued by Our Dumb Friends League Blue Cross Fund, 1915.’ They link the archive to the current […]
This is from Gary Sheffield’s very good new book The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (about which I shall write more when I’ve finished it): Britain had never before created an organisation of the size and complexity of the army of the First World War. At its peak the BEF had to feed 2,700,000 […]
The box calls it The Battle of Ypres, but the film’s original title was just Ypres. It was made in 1925, a decade after most of the events that it shows. Directed by Walter Summers, it mixes wartime newsreel with re-enactments, and among its cast were several ex-soldiers who had been part of the fighting […]
An extract from Rowland Feilding’s War Letters to a Wife was a good choice, I thought, for the unseen passage in the AQA AS Level ‛Literature of the First World War’ paper this year. Jonathan Walker’s preface to his excellent edition of the letters fills in the background on this very competent and thoughtful soldier. […]
James Calhoun, a correspondent from Canada with an interest in James Hanley, has answered my speculation about Hanley’s possibly being kept away from the front line because of his extreme youth. He writes: I also imagine his size was a factor. Hanley was only 5’2”. Or, to put it another way, the exact same height […]