The Somme | GM 1914


From July to November 1916, one of the bloodiest battles, not just in the First World War, but in human history took place. For many, the Battle of the Somme truly symbolised the horrors of the Great War. The terrifying and brutal nature of trench warfare, the stalemate and tactics of attrition and death rates far beyond our comprehension today are all associated with the Somme. Over the course of the five months, over 400,000 men would be wounded or killed in the wet, muddy and disease ridden trenches of the Western Front.

The British were led by the now infamous and controversial figure of General Sir Douglas Haig who had previous military experience in Africa where he rose to prominence in the Sudan in 1898. Alongside him was…

Source: The Somme | GM 1914

The Armenian Genocide and my grandmother’s secret

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

Decades ago when I was very young, my grandmother, Mary Kupelian, told me a haunting story I’ve wondered about ever since.

As I sat in the kitchen of her cozy little home in Bethesda, Maryland, eating her delicious homemade bread and talking about a frequent topic – the Armenian Genocide, which she and my dad (as a little boy) had barely survived – she shared with me the following enigma.

“The Turkish people are very hospitable people,” she said with surprising warmth, seeing as they had murdered her husband and dozens of other members of her extended family, just a few of the 1.5 million Christian Armenians killed by the Turks during the first genocide of the 20th century. Grandmom knew the Turkish people well, not just from having grown up in southern Turkey, but from having returned several times to the “old country” later in life, during more quiescent times.

However, continuing her story, she intimated to me that the Muslim Turks lived under the spell of strange forces.

“They were very hospitable and would invite you in,” she said. “But, if a distant signal was given – it sounded something like a trumpet – then they would instantly change, and would attempt to harm you. Yet if the signal sounded again, they would immediately switch back to normal.”

“Even,” she added by way of illustration, “if they had injured you after the first signal, as soon as the second signal sounded, they would bind up the…

via The Armenian Genocide and my grandmother’s secret.

 

In hommage to La Commune de Paris: March 18

A Revolution in Fiction

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This day, March 18, marks the 144th anniversary of the beginning of the end for the Paris Communards.  In honor of their vision of a just and equal workers’ society, we publish the beautiful song, “Le Temps des Cerises,” by Jean-Baptiste Clément.  According to legend, it is dedicated to a heroic ambulancière or paramedic who refused to leave the side of the fighters and who was never seen again when the smoke lifted from the streets of Paris in March–May 1871.

Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises,
Et gai rossignol, et merle moqueur
Seront tous en fête !
Les belles auront la folie en tête
Et les amoureux du soleil au cœur !
Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises
Sifflera bien mieux le merle moqueur !

Mais il est bien court, le temps des cerises
Où l’on s’en va deux cueillir en rêvant
Des pendants d’oreilles…
Cerises d’amour aux robes pareilles,

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Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015

First Night History

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Prints of Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler are available to buy at FirstNightVintage

Related


Originally posted on Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

A call is going out to the nation and beyond to find descendants of those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, the last great conflict of the age of the sword, cannon and musket in Western Europe, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Battle in 2015.

On 18th June 1815, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever was fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied army, bringing to an end a long campaign against the might of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over rolling countryside between two ridges, 11 miles south of Brussels, the entire course of European history changed as Napoleon was defeated, ending his leadership of the French Empire. Waterloo literally means ‘wet meadow’ and the condition of the…

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Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Prints of Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler are available to buy at FirstNightVintage

Related


Originally posted on Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

A call is going out to the nation and beyond to find descendants of those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, the last great conflict of the age of the sword, cannon and musket in Western Europe, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Battle in 2015.

On 18th June 1815, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever was fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied army, bringing to an end a long campaign against the might of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over rolling countryside between two ridges, 11 miles south of Brussels, the entire course of European history changed as Napoleon was defeated, ending his leadership of the French Empire. Waterloo literally means ‘wet meadow’ and the condition of the ground on the day was such that shoes and cannon balls simply disappeared by their hundreds into the mud.

Though the Duke was outnumbered in both men and cannon, his tactical skill and staying power resulted in an outcome that decided the future of Europe, becoming a milestone in…

via Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.