Leigh’s Motor Ambulance & The Red Cross – GM 1914

This article first appeared in the Leigh Chronicle in August 1915 and provides an insight into the valuable work of the Red Cross during the war. Including supporting motor ambulances. 

‘The motor ambulance for wounded soldiers at the Front subscribed by the people of Leigh, at the instigation of the Mayoress ( Mrs.Ashworth), was on exhibition in Leigh on Friday. The van was…

Source: Leigh’s Motor Ambulance & The Red Cross – GM 1914

An Amazing Idea – Making An Aircraft Carrier Out of Ice and Sawdust

Mackenzie King (left), Franklin D. Roosevelt (center), and Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference

In WWII the British were desperate. Metal was in short supply, and German U-boats were sinking Britain’s lifeline – ships. The Allies needed an unsinkable…

Source: An Amazing Idea – Making An Aircraft Carrier Out of Ice and Sawdust

Quietly awaiting Armageddon: “quiver theory” and the summer of 1914. – SeanMunger.com

In the early summer of 1914, Europe had no idea what was coming its way. Are we in a similar daze today?

Source: Quietly awaiting Armageddon: “quiver theory” and the summer of 1914. – SeanMunger.com

On this day: the death of a war hero | In Times Gone By…

Only hours after being awarded the French Légion d’honneur, British Lieutenant Reginald Warneford was killed in an aeroplane crash on the 17th of June, 1915. A 1919 painting depicting the moment th…

Source: On this day: the death of a war hero | In Times Gone By…

Philippe Pétain – The Lion of Verdun – W.U Hstry

Philippe Pétain was 58 years old and a colonel when World War One broke out, and he had never seen active service. Yet within months he was a national hero and a commanding General and would soon c…

Source: Philippe Pétain – The Lion of Verdun – W.U Hstry

The Canary Girls: The workers the war turned yellow – BBC News

Women in munitions factories were tasked with filling shells with explosives [Imperial War Museum]

The sacrifice of soldiers killed during World Wars One and Two is well-documented. But the efforts of munitions workers stained yellow by toxic chemicals is a story much less told. A campaign now hopes to honour the so-called Canary Girls, who…

Source: The Canary Girls: The workers the war turned yellow – BBC News

A precedent for the Holocaust: The Armenian genocide and The Promise | Literaturesalon’s Blog

by Claudia Moscovici

As Peter Balakian points out in the Preface of his book, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian genocide and America’s response (New York: Harper Perennial, 2004), the Holocau…

Source: A precedent for the Holocaust: The Armenian genocide and The Promise | Literaturesalon’s Blog

April 22, 1918 – The Red Baron – Today in History

By way of comparison, the highest scoring Allied ace of the Great War was Frenchman René Fonck, with 75 confirmed victories. The highest scoring fighter pilot from the British Empire was Canadian B…

Source: April 22, 1918 – The Red Baron – Today in History

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Volunteer Nurses in the Great War: 1914 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

The fashionable women of England are very anxious to help. At least they say they are, and never would we doubt a lady’s word. But their good intentions are thwarted on every side. Lord Kitch…

Source: Volunteer Nurses in the Great War: 1914 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

Batter Up: World War I Amputees Play Ball

Long before Pete Gray or Jim Abbott stepped up to the plate, veterans of World War I recovering at military hospitals throughout the United States formed amputee baseball teams. Elbert K. Fretwell,…

Source: Batter Up: World War I Amputees Play Ball

Sir Mark Sykes and a Lead Coffin | The Immortal Jukebox

mark-sykes-001‘At a solemn service before sunset in a rural Yorkshire churchyard, a battered lead-lined coffin was reburied hours after being opened for the first time in 89 years. As prayers were recited, samples of the remains of Sir Mark Sykes, the aristocratic diplomat and adventurer whose grave had been exhumed, were being frozen in liquid nitrogen and transported to a laboratory with the aim of saving millions of lives.

During his life, Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes made his mark on the world map. As the British government’s lead negotiator in a secret 1916 deal with France to carve up the Ottoman Empire, he laid the groundwork for the boundaries of much of the present-day Middle East and, according to some critics, its current conflicts.

But it was the manner of the death of this Conservative MP, British Army general, and father of six children, that may yet prove the source of his most significant legacy by providing key answers in how medical science can cope with 21st-century lethal flu pandemics.

Early in 1919, Sir Mark became one of the estimated 50 million victims of the so-called Spanish flu and died in Paris.

His remains were sealed in a lead-lined coffin and transported to the Sykes family seat in Yorkshire. He was buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, adjoining the house.

Were it not for the fact that Sir Mark’s body was hermetically sealed by a thick layer of lead, the story of his life would have passed quietly into history.

But the accident of chemistry – the decay of soft tissue encased in lead is dramatically slowed – has presented scientists investigating ways to deal with the inevitable mutation of the H5N1 “bird flu” into a lethal human virus with a unique opportunity to study the behaviour of its predecessor.

There are only five useful samples of the H1N1 virus around the world and none from a well-preserved body in a lead-lined coffin. Sir Mark’s descendants are delighted that his influence may reach a different sphere of human endeavour. His grandson, Christopher Sykes, said: “We were all agreed that it was a very good thing and should go ahead. It is rather fascinating that maybe even in his state as a corpse, he might be helping the world in some way.”

Source: Curtis Mayfield & Major Lance express the inexpressible : Um, um, um, um, um, um! | The Immortal Jukebox

Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action | The Unwritten Record

You may remember our July 2016 post about the Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps, made up of women artists who developed camouflage for use by American troops in Europe during World War I. The websit…

Source: Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action | The Unwritten Record

Britain on the Brink of Starvation: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare | Heritage Calling

Will’s cigarette card from the First World War. The reverse reads: ‘As in peace time, the flag of Britain’s mercantile marine flies over two-thirds of the shipping which plies the ocean. Ship after ship is coming over the seas, bringing food and raw materials…’ © Mark Dunkley.

One hundred years ago today on 1 February 1917, Germany resumed its policy of ‘unrestricted submarine warfare.’  The seas around the British Isles were declared a war zone in which fishing vessels …

Source: Britain on the Brink of Starvation: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare | Heritage Calling

The Silvertown Tragedy: Explosion on the Home Front | Heritage Calling

100 years ago today, on 19th January 1917 at 6.52pm, a catastrophic explosion at the Brunner Mond and Company’s high explosive TNT factory in Silvertown, East London killed 73 people and injured hu…

Source: The Silvertown Tragedy: Explosion on the Home Front | Heritage Calling

The time in 1919 a WWI German U boat washed ashore on a British Beach and ruined “seaside day” for everyone

SM U-118 was a type UE II minelaying submarine of the Imperial German Navy and one of 329 submarines serving with that navy during World War I. U-118 was…

Source: The time in 1919 a WWI German U-boat washed ashore on a British Beach and ruined “seaside day” for everyone