German Army

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The execution of Miss Edith Cavell, the English nurse, on a charge of harbouring in Brussels, greatly shocked the Belgian community in that unhappy land, and they call it the bloodiest act of the whole war.

The Saintly Nurse Executed for Being a Spy

?Nothing but physical impossibility, lack of space and money would make me close my doors to Allied refugees.??

? Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell was a nurse, humanitarian and spy. During the First World War, she helped allied servicemen escape German occupied Belgium; she was eventually captured and executed for treason. Her death by firing squad made her internationally known and she became an iconic symbol for the Allied cause.

In particular, she is remembered for her courage in facing execution with equanimity. This included her famous last words that ?Patriotism is not enough.?

The incident and disgust at her treatment by Germany, played an important role in shaping American public opinion and easing America?s entry into the war, later in 1917.

Edith Louisa Cavell was born on 4 December 1865 in the vicarage at Swardeston, a village located approximately 5 miles south of Norwich, Norfolk. She was the eldest of 4 children, their Father being the local vicar. All his children were taught the principles which their Father held dear: thought for others, self-sacrifice and prayer. Edith was taught by her Father at home, as he was unable to afford either a Governess or a private tutor.

During her teenage years, Edith went to a school called Laurel Court, operated by a Miss Margaret Gibson. During her time at the school, Edith became so proficient in French, that Miss Gibson recommended Edith to the Francois family in Brussels, as a governess to their family. Edith enjoyed her new position, but she felt that as the children were now grown up she required a greater challenge.

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Advancing across no man's land in the mist. An assault force advancing across no man's land in what apprears to be either a morning mist or a gas cloud ...

Advancing across no man’s land in the mist. An assault force advancing across no man’s land in what appears to be either a morning mist or a gas cloud …

The Battle of the Somme

But all that my mind sees

Is a quaking bog in a mist ? stark, snapped trees,
And the dark Somme flowing.

Vance Palmer (1885?1959),

?The Farmer Remembers The Somme?

The Battle of the Somme, fought in northern France, was one of the bloodiest of World War One. The aims of the battle, were to relieve the French Army fighting at Verdun and to weaken the German Army. However, the Allies were unable to break through German lines. In total, there were millions dead and wounded on all sides.

The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was one of the largest battles of the First World War. Fought between July 1 and November 1, 1916 near the Somme River in France, it was also one of the bloodiest military battles in history. On the first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties, and by the end of the campaign the Allies and Central Powers would lose more than 1.5 million men.

A truly nightmarish world greeted the New Zealand Division when it joined the Battle of the Somme in mid-September 1916. The division was part of the third big push of the offensive, designed to crack the German lines once and for all. When it was withdrawn from the line a month later, the decisive breakthrough had still not occurred.

Fifteen thousand members of the division went into action. Nearly 6000 men were wounded and 2000 lost their lives. More than half the New Zealand Somme dead have no known grave. They are commemorated on the New Zealand Memorial to the Missing in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, near Longueval. One of these men returned home to New Zealand in November 2004; his remains lie in the tomb of the Unknown Warrior outside New Zealand?s National War Memorial.

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World War I

World War I

World War I

General’s Letter Reveals Details of British and German Soldiers Playing Soccer, Exchanging Christmas Gifts In 1914 One-Day Truce

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Margo W?lk said some of the women she worked with would cry through their meals because 'they were so afraid' they might die as a result

Margo W?lk said some of the women she worked with would cry through their meals because ‘they were so afraid’ they might die as a result

‘I Was Hitler’s Food Taster’

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Workers assembling German Pickelhaube helmets, posing for a photograph, c. 1914.

Workers assembling German Pickelhaube helmets, posing for a photograph, c. 1914.

The German Pickelhaube

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