First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Living History', 'WW1 Tours', 'Films, Movies', 'Great War Tributes'.

British WW1 food propaganda claimed Germans were eating glue soup (illustrations)
During the First World War, the British naval blockade prevented the entrance of food into Germany. To convince British citizens that the naval blockade was crushing German morale, the British government ran illustrations claiming that Germans were eating quartz-bread. The home-front-inspiring chart in The Illustrated London News on March 23, 1918 depicted the Germans as desperate and the Allies as the denizens of a land of plenty.
(io9.com)

Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks and Conservation during World War I (book review)
When the U.S. entered the First World War in 1917, Americans changed their diets so food could be shipped overseas to keep the troops marching on. This movement in Minnesota is the subject of a book by food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey - "Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks and Conservation during World War I." Led by U.S. food administrator Herbert Hoover, America knew Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, vegetable gardens and less sugar at home. These were huge changes to the American diet of the time, when meat was a staple of at least 2 meals and bread was served at every meal.
(agrinews.com)

Great Silence Living in the Shadow of the Great War 1918-20 by Juliet Nicolson [book review]
At the end of the Great War 3,500,000 men were in the British army. Of these, all but the 900,000 needed to get home to their families as fast as possible. The government was unprepared: Lloyd George's promise of troops returning to "a land fit for heroes" was impossible to fulfil. Juliet Nicolson's book is a fascinating social study of the aftermath of the First World War. The prewar society could not be retained. Servants coming back from the war were reluctant to return to the other side of the baize door; wives who had held the homefront were no longer the submissive creatures left behind in 1914; And at least 41,000 men had lost at least one limb in the war.
(guardian.co.uk)

Tommy's War -The diaries of a man who wrote about WW1-era life in Glasgow
The diaries of an obscure Glasgow clerk who lived through the First World War and the Depression are set to become a publishing hit. Tommy's War contains the musings of Thomas Cairns Livingstone, a working class man who set up home in Govanhill in 1913. Spanning 20 years, he wrote his journal in a copperplate, and illustrated it with drawings. His entries tell of the everyday life - However, they are also a unique historical document: a record of the build-up to the war and the way it affected the homefront. His writing went unnoticed until in 2007, his diaries were taken onto Antique Roadshow for valuation.
(guardian)

World War I War Gardens: Patriotism and feeding families
Even before the U.S. entered WWI, Europe had a crisis on its hands. The year 1916 had been one of the most disastrous agricultural years. Two years earlier, 20-30 million men all across Europe had left their farms to soldier. This massive deployment caused a shortage of workers of the land. Prior to this, the Entente nations had developed a fine cooperative system for feeding their masses. Germany provided sugar to England; Russia sent its wheat to Italy. With the outbreak of the war this joint effort was thrown out of kilter. So dire did the situation become that the entire continent resorted to meatless days.
(grit)

Blood-thirsty Huns: anti-German hysteria swept American homefront
During World War 1, anti-German hysteria swept the American home front, with German soldiers portrayed as pillaging blood-thirsty Huns. Once the US entered the war in April 1917 officials moved aggressively to stamp out German "Kultur." German-Americans, including those in Central Illinois, found themselves under suspicion and persecuted by this superpatriot hysteria. Communities established local defense councils dedicated to "unification," a euphemism for anti-German activities that included the "prosecution of citizens who, by their expressions, appeared to be disloyal."
(pantagraph)

How The Great War Consumed German Town - Total war
In his new book, The Great War and Urban Life in Germany: Freiburg, 1914-1918, Professor Roger Chickering traces the all-encompassing impact of World War I on life in the German city of Freiburg. His comprehensive historical account shows how the war affected every aspect of life in the city including industry and daily livelihoods. The book reflects Chickering`s scholarship on the concept of "total war" the mobilization of all available resources in the war effort and his belief that total war requires total history. He explores the war`s disruption of the human life-cycle and matters of death, injury and reproduction.
(georgetown)

Chailey 1914-1918 tells the story of village community during WW1
Chailey 1914-1918 website tells the story about a village community during the First World War. It contains the biographies of over 500 Chailey men, wounded World War 1 soldiers and Sussex 54 VAD nurses. Chailey 1914-1918 is a tribute to the men and women of Chailey during the First World War: those who nursed or were nursed there; those who answered their country's call; those who lie in some corner of a foreign field. Photographs of wounded soldiers at Beechlands are scattered throughout the site and have also been grouped on a separate page.
(chailey)

Brothers in War -- Family during First World War
Book about the Beechey family is a story of the tragedy, suffering and stupidity of World War I. Before the war there were 8 boys and 5 girls. By the end, all the boys had gone to war. Some boys enlisted, some were conscripted, some were anti-war but still were called up and served. The boys wrote letters telling of their lives on the battlefields. Michael Walsh has taken these letters as a base and built a powerful and heartbreaking story of a family during a time of war. One of the boys, Chris, became an Anzac, fought at Gallipoli, was shot by a Turkish sniper, but lived to the age of 85.
(smh)

Diary of First World War home front is 'captivating   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Diaries are important documents. When such a document records, with great clarity, feeling, and aplomb, an event such as the First World War, it becomes a work of public interest. War on the Home Front: The Diaries of Daniel MacMillan 1914-1927 relates how New Brunswickers spent the Great War years and the years following that horrendous event. A recurring theme lies in the predictions of when the war would be over. In his entry for Nov. 25, 1915, MacMillan says, "the latest word from the Canadian front is that the war will be over in four months." Such predictions were frequently recorded.
(canadaeast)

Torn apart by war: letters that spelt heartbreak
He survived the horrors of the trenches and the deprivations of a prisoner of war camp but for Pte Harry Nelson the deadliest blow came from the home front. A letter from his wife Lil, sent to him in 1915 while he was a prisoner of war, includes a stark admission of adultery and the heart-breaking news that she is to leave him for another man. Against the backdrop of the WW1 this was a small personal tragedy. However, the devastating two page letter, found in a Government archive 90 years later, illustrates the high price that was paid even by some who did not lose their lives.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Munitions factory explosions dead remembered
A ceremony to remember workers killed in explosions at a munitions factory in Leeds during the First World War was taking place on Sunday. Some 37 girls and women and three men died in three explosions at the nearby Barnbow Munitions Factory. The Barnbow factory on Manston Lane was opened in 1915 and at its height employed 17,000 workers, 16,000 of them being women and girls. On December 5 1916 a huge explosion killed 35 women and injured many more. Details of the tragedies were kept secret until after the war.
(bbc)

British Working Class Enthusiasm for War
Few historians contest the notion that the outbreak of the First World War saw a surge of popular enthusiasm in Britain that fuelled enlistment in the Army on a massive scale. The vast majority of these volunteers came from the working classes. Scholars have largely ignored the often complex motivations of these individuals. In "The British Working Class and Enthusiasm for War", Silbey seeks to explain the reasons behind the willingness of British workers to volunteer for military service from the beginning of the conflict until the imposition of conscription in 1916.
(jamestownproject.org)

The only fictional war-time account of homefront by a woman
Montgomery agonized over the battles of the First World War. She was living in Ontario, as a Presbyterian minister's wife. In her journals she recorded the horror or suspense she felt over Flanders, Verdun, Vimy, Passchendaele, the Marne, over the sinking of the Lusitania and the Halifax Explosion. She wrote Rilla of Ingleside (1920), a novel describing the heroism involved in daily life during the four years of the war. This novel is the only fictional war-time account by a woman describing the home front in Canada. Putting the novel together with the journals--and now with the personal scrapbooks --gives a very vivid picture of Canada in war time.
(confederationcentre)


See also

'Living History'

'WW1 Tours'

'Films, Movies'

'Great War Tributes'.