World War One: Circus animals like elephants helped Britain
As World War One raged, the military purchased most of England's horses and sent them to the Western Front. Many farmers and traders had to find alternative beasts of burden, but none more exotic than elephants. On the cobbled streets of industrial Sheffield an Indian elephant dutifully lumbered along. Her task was important - she had to cart munitions, machines and scrap metal around the city, a job previously done by three horses. Lizzie - as she was known - was used to performing tricks as part of a travelling menagerie. But with the outbreak of WW1 she was conscripted to help with heavy labour, fitted with a harness and sent to work at a scrap metal merchants.
Harry Drinkwater's WWI diary paints vivid and visceral picture
"This is not war it's slaughter. No man, however brave, can advance against a sheet of bullets from the front and a shower of shells from overhead - it appears to me that the side who will win will be the one who can supply the last man." That bitter assessment of WWI was written in pencil by Harry Drinkwater in a pocketbook he kept in his tunic pocket. He joined the Birmingham Pals Battalion as a Private at the outbreak of the war, and served as a front-line soldier all through the conflict, becoming an officer and winning the Military Cross. He won the medal in 1918 after he continued to lead a trench raid despite being badly wounded in his leg.
The First World War in 100 Objects
A book telling the story of the First World War through the objects that shaped it is to be published. Designed to commemorate the centenery of the outbreak of the Great War, The First World War in 100 Objects features a collection of eclectic items such as a flying helmet, rum jar, Mills bomb and Winston Churchill's cigar. Fully illustrated, each object is put into context and its significance highlighted. The items have been chosen by Professor Gary Sheffield, one of the world's leading experts in military history of the First World War.
World War One in Wales digital archive launches with 220,000 digitised documents
The Welsh Experience of the First World War highlights newspapers, photographs, film and other items from sources including universities and BBC Wales. The National Library of Wales project has digitised 220,000 documents, including telegrams informing people that their loved one had been killed. Oral history recordings from the South Wales Miners' Library are also part of the archive, and BBC Wales has included more than 500 minutes of audio and audio visual material.
Never before seen WWI images surface - Photographed by a German officer
A collection of never before seen images of WWI photographed by a German officer have surfaced. The photos were taken by the great grandfather of Dean Putney, who hopes to turn the rare collection into a book. Putney has already created a Tumblr blog with the photos as he scans them in, and launched a Kickstarter to fund the book. In total, there are nearly 1,000 unpublished photos by Putney's great grandfather, Walter Koessler. "Walter was trained an architect and had an expert, aesthetic eye. As an officer in the reserve artillery battalion, he took advantage of tons of opportunities to capture life in the trenches, his comrades preparing for war, and the devastating results of their actions."
Unseen World War I photos: Destroyed Cathedrals
Unseen World War I photos: Destroyed Cathedrals.
Archaeological dig begins to unearth scale model of a WW1 battlefield created by German POWs to help train British troops
It was a permanent reminder of one of the First World War's bloodiest battlefields, a scale model of the opposing lines created in an English field for the education of Allied troops. Now a dig to uncover the model built by German prisoners of war which long since has become covered by earth and foliage is set to start. Archaeologists will begin charting the site, the only example of its kind left in the UK, which was planned out in painstaking detail by troops returned from the Battle of Messines on the Western Front, fought in June 1917.
Last remaining ship from sea battle that turned the tide of WW1 will be become a floating museum
The First World War's last surviving battleship is on course to be transformed into a floating museum after securing a £12 million lottery funding boost. The National Museum of the Royal Navy says HMS Caroline will be opened as a 'world class' visitor attraction ahead of the centenary of its most famous wartime engagement - the 1916 Battle of Jutland off the coast of Denmark. The derelict vessel, which is currently docked in the same Belfast shipyards where the Titanic was built, was in danger of rusting away before moves to restore it started to build up steam last year.
First world war in historic Guardian infographics
A century ago, Europe was on the verge of war. For newspaper graphic artists given tiny space - and only a few years after the papers started running photographs - it presented fresh challenges: how do you illustrate France to a readership which had largely never been there? How do you explain the latest tactics as war becomes an industrialised, mechanised slaughter? This is a selection of how the Manchester Guardian did it.
Aerial archaeology revealed a network of WWI trenches on the Hoo Peninsula (video)
Aerial archaeology has revealed a network of WWI trenches on the Hoo Peninsula which could rewrite military history. English Heritage's new aerial surveys have revealed that the Peninsula was once at the centre of military technology experiments in trench design and warfare. A network of trenches has been discovered in the area next to the former Chattenden Barracks which were used to practise trench digging and design. It was previously thought troops were thrown into battle in World War I with little preparation and training, but the discovery may require historians to rethink that view.
First World War - Western Front game released on Android
The highly rated strategy game series "Conflicts" - only available for Android - now also includes a campaign from the Great War. In "First World - Western Front" you are in control of German armed forces on the Western Front, battling not only the Allied forces, but also terrains-turning-mud and the logistic challenges.
Rare World War I photos found inside antique camera by photographer Anton Orlov
A blogger passionate about historic photography techniques found some old photos inside his newly-purchased camera. As in, World War I old. Anton Orlov was cleaning the Jumelle Belllieni stereoscopic camera that he'd bought at an antique store a few days prior, and found the images completely by accident. "While viewing the images in their negative form it was difficult to say for sure what was on each of them, but after scanning them it became clear that they dated back to the First World War and were taken somewhere in France," Orlov wrote.
WWI-era French-made FT-17 tank returns to Poland from Afghanistan
A tank used by Poland in its 1920 war against the Red Army was returned from Afghanistan where it was serving as a decoration at the defense ministry. According to historians the French-made FT-17 tank probably was captured by the Bolsheviks during the war, and later sent to Kabul as a gift. After maintenance it will be displayed at the Polish Armed Forces Museum. Europe has only three such tanks, and this is the first tank on tracks with front cabin and rear engine.
Disturbing footage reveals devastating effects of shell shock on WW1 soldiers as they were treated in Devon hospital
Uncontrollable shaking, nightmares and severe convulsions were among the most devastating symptoms suffered by the many WW1 soldiers who suffered shell shock. By the end of the war, 80,000 men who had endured the horrors of battle were struggling to return to normality. And here, disturbing footage compiled by British Pathé film archivists brings home the terrifying reality that for many the war never really ended. At the time, most shell shock victims were treated harshly and with little sympathy as their symptoms were not understood and they were seen as a sign of weakness. But at Newton Abbott's Seale Hayne in Devon, the approach was very different due to the revolutionary approach of a doctor called Arthur Hurst, who believed he could cure every shell shock victim.
German pilot flew behind enemy lines to deliver letter from Brit he shot down
The amazing tale of gentlemanly conduct in the heat of battle emerged when the letter and photographs of the incident were put up for auction. It was on January 5, 1916, that the British single-engine biplane, crewed by pilot Lieutenant William Somervill and observer Lieutenant Geoffrey Formilli, took off on a flight from Lille. Unfortunately, they encountered Oswald Boelcke – known as the father of the German fighter air force and the aviator who trained the Red Baron – roaming the skies in his Fokker E IV fighter. Boelcke sprayed the British plane, a BE2c reconnaissance aircraft, with hundreds of rounds from his machine-guns, forcing it to crash land.
WWI ammunition frozen in time for nearly a century has been found as glacier melts in northern Italy
First World War ammunition frozen in time for nearly a century has been discovered in northern Italy. More than 200 pieces of the ammunition were revealed at an altitude of 3,200 metres by a melting glacier on the Ago de Nardis peak in Trentino. The 85-100mm caliber explosives weighed between 7-10 kilos and explosives experts have been to the site to safely dispose of the weaponry. The once-perennial glacier began partially melted during a recent heat wave, allowing the Finance Police Alpine rescue unit to catch sight of the brownish metal points emerging from the ice.
The First World War (August 1914 to November 1918) is also known as the Great War, The War to End All Wars, World War I and WW1.
Many of the bloodiest battles in military history occurred during the First World War. In trench warfare hundreds of soldiers died for each yard of land captured. Artillery with fragmentation shells caused the most casualties and made massed infantry attacks futile.