Remembered: The Battle of Passchendaele | Heritage Calling

Allied Australian troops walk through the remains of Chateau Wood, Passchendaele 29 October 1917. © IWM E(AUS) 1220.

Today – 31 July – marks one hundred years since the start of the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres, 31 July – 10 November 1917), Britain’s major offensive against German forces in the Flanders region of Belgium.

The ultimate aim was to liberate the occupied Channel ports to the north of Ypres, neutralising the U-boat threat to North Sea shipping and take the pressure off…

Source: Remembered: The Battle of Passchendaele | Heritage Calling

EDITH MUNRO: Newham pays respects to WWI nurse | HalfEatenMind

Military veterans and members of the Jewish community paid their respects this month to a Newham, east London nurse who gave her life in active service for the country at a special memorial service this past week, council magazine The Newham Mag reports.

The nurse, Edith Hilda Munro, was born in a well-off household in Hackney, the daughter of Scottish engineer John Munro, and local Leah Nathan, and had three brothers and sisters. She first began her illustrious career in the Albert Dock Seaman’s Hospital of Custom House, in the south of the London borough, before finding work with the Voluntary Aid Detachment shortly after it was founded in 1909, a group which sent nurses to treat the injured in war zones. Upon the outbreak of World War I, Munro tended to soldiers injured in…

Source: EDITH MUNRO: Newham pays respects to WWI nurse | HalfEatenMind

From Holland to Bavaria: The quest starts at Dachau

Dachau is a place that can not really be described, and I’m not going to try. But seeing the vast roll-call space, let alone the registration building, execution area, gas chamber and ovens is enough to set your hair on end. Yes, it is real. It really happened. And what happened is beyond my imagination. And that hits home as I walk through the gate with the well-known horrific slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’. That first impact, and the feeling of walking amongst ghosts will stay with me. And then to think my uncle might have been there.

Roll call area, Dachau
Roll call area, Dachau

Initially I went to Dachau as a gesture of respect to my uncle, who died when he was 22 years old at the hands of the Nazis in Germany. And I left Dachau with an incredible urge to…

Source: From Holland to Bavaria: The quest starts at Dachau

An East End Remembrance | Spitalfields Life

Yesterday, Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien & I joined the pupils of Morpeth School at the Alderney, Britain’s oldest Ashkenazi cemetery, for a remembrance upon the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Around thirty senior pupils walked over from Bethnal Green to the cemetery for a modest service. Standing quietly in a semi-circle, they listened while a fellow student who had visited the camp recently gave a bare historical account of what took place there. Then four others read out survivors’ testimonies and there was a minute’s silence followed by the lighting of candles.

It was a group that was mixed in creed and race, yet united in respect as demonstrated by their uniformly subdued demeanour. In the minute’s silence, I looked around at the pupils standing in the January sunshine among the stillness of the tombs in this most ancient of graveyards. It was a welcome moment of peace upon an anniversary that only resonates more painfully in the light of…

via An East End Remembrance | Spitalfields Life.

“The Fiends We Are Fighting”


monumentNow that the handwringing over the millions killed in the First World War has momentarily quietened, here’s a story that in all probability will not get told again, as it does not play the tidy vision of civilised nations fighting like gentlemen. This was behaviour of medieval barbarity — the kind that ISIL would exact, but never we Europeans.

Felix Fivet would have celebrated his 100th birthday a couple of weeks ago. Except that he was executed on August 23 1914, aged three weeks. He was not alone.

Dinant is in Belgium on the Meuse river. The name is translated as Divine Valley. Adolphe Saxe, the inventor of the saxophone was born there. On August 23, 674 unarmed civilians died there. They were casually executed by German military firing squads or murdered by informal bands of drunken rapacious soldiers in and around Dinant. The little town was burnt to the…

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Another wartime anniversary; Oradour


After the rightfully diplomatic D Day commemoration, another event to remember is the war crime at Oradour. If you are reading this today, June 10, it is that exactly 70 years ago that German troops heading north to repel the landings took time out to gather up all the villagers of innocent little French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. They put the women and kids in the church and the men in barns, there to grenade and machine gun to death 642 of them, loot the village and leave it in flames.

The village remains and will forever as the SS left it…

I recommend from whence this photograph is one of many


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