Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Living History: Reenactments', 'WWI Multimedia, Films', 'WW1 Memorabilia, Militaria', 'First Battle Tanks', 'American WWI Museum', 'WW1 Archives'.
France opens war museum thanks to collector Jean-Pierre Verney's militaria collection
French President Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurated a World War One museum on Armistice Day, bringing to light artifacts hidden away in the home of a private collector for decades. The museum in Meaux, 40km northeast of Paris, features tens of thousands of objects produced during the war, from rifles to crisply ironed uniforms, from photographs to toothbrushes. The collection, among Europe's most extensive, was put together by Jean-Pierre Verney, 65, an amateur archeologist who worked for years as a photographer before becoming an archivist at France's Ministry for Veterans.
A permanent WWI trench complex rising on the grounds of the Illinois State Military Museum
A First World War trench complex, complete with gun nests, is rising on the grounds of the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield. The trench will become part of a permanent living history display outside the museum, and will be featured to the public for the first time during the "Great War" re-enactment that will take place on March 5.
SikhMuseum.com online exhibit: paintings and drawings of First World War Sikh soldiers
As Sikhs began appearing on the WW1 battlefields, for many it marked the first time that they had ever seen a Sikh in real life. The appearance of the Sikhs yielded curiosity about these exotic looking turbaned warriors. Paintings and drawings of Sikhs by artists, scenes of camp and trench life and front-line action, helped to fulfil the public's curiosity. This online exhibit at SikhMuseum.com has a unique collection of paintings and drawings of Sikh soldiers from the First World War.
Students raise $13,000 for WW1 memorial - And bring bucks for Buckles
Two months ago, Katie Morrison had no idea there were any American First World War veterans remaining. Recently the 14-year-old Creekwood Middle School student got to meet one - the only one - when she and a group of students and teachers from Kingwood, Texas, presented this last living doughboy, 108-year-old Frank W. Buckles, with a check for $13,553 that students raised to help restore the long-neglected D.C. War Memorial. Buckles, who was greeted at his home in Charles Town, received the funds on behalf of the World War I Memorial Foundation.
Permanent First World War exhibition opens at Budapest Military Museum
Budapest's Institute and Museum of Military History has marked the 90th anniversary of its establishment and the end of the First World War by opening a new permanent exhibition on the Great War. The new exhibition presents events of the war from the viewpoint of soldiers with photographs allowing a peek into daily life on the front line, showing its misery and also its happy moments. The exhibition also shows the work of those who helped soldiers, such as the Voluntary Army and the women.
Canadian War Museum recreates life in the trenches
Two periscopes offer views above the trench line, vintage black-and-white movie footage that shows battle scenes Canadian troops would have saw during the 1914-1918 carnage. In another display, viewers can walk through a WWI battlefield panorama - a re-created scene of pulverized ground, skeletal trees and a landscape filled with barbed wire, smashed machine guns and the remains of a fallen soldier buried in the mud. Running in parallel with these permanent First World War displays, "Trench Life: A Survival Guide" continues at the Canadian War Museum until April 13, 2009, presenting a unique glance at a different side of soldiers' battlefield experience.
Last American WWI veteran Frank Buckles seeks memorial for comrades
At 107, Frank Buckles knows there is not much time for him to honor the memory of his comrades who served the United States during World War I. He's the last living American veteran of what once was called the Great War. The old soldier came to Washington hoping to turn a run-down local memorial on the National Mall into something in keeping with other, permanent monuments to Americans who've sacrificed in other wars. The price of the initial restorations would be around $1 million, and the site eventually would be upgraded to a national memorial, though design details haven't been settled.
Unique World War One shrinein Hampshire gets Heritage Lottery funding
A First World War Shrine at North Stoneham in Hampshire is to be restored after getting 50,000 pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Eastleigh Borough Council and the Willis Fleming Historical Trust are joining forces return the shrine and the historic parkland to original condition. The shrine was built in 1917 by the landowner John Willis Fleming in memory of his son Richard and the other 36 men who died in WWI. "This is an unusual example of this type of memorial and its restoration will encourage the public to discover more about its origins while enhancing the historic landscape," explained Michelle Davies of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The latest threat to World War I graves and memorials - Voyeuristic films and photos
While common acts of desecration have in the past included vandalism and graffiti, indecent photos are increasingly being shot around the structures built to remember the fallen. The latest case saw a French couple given a 4-month suspended sentence for making a adult video at the Vimy Ridge memorial. They were fined 400 pounds each and had to pay a symbolic 1 euro to Canada. Despite the sacrifice honoured by the Vimy Memorial, the couple stripped naked and did sex acts beside the structure. They then posted the video on a website, invited people to pay to watch it. Their sentence came only 6 months after another couple were fined for taking nude photos in the same place.
Land where Australian and UK soldiers are buried to be donated for a permanent memorial?
The owner of a land in France where hundreds of Australian and UK soldiers are buried offered to donate the land for a permanent memorial. After a moving ceremony at the site to finally honour the missing soldiers of Fromelles, Marie-Paule de Massiet felt the land no longer belonged to her. She lost two uncles in the First World War, including one who was never found. There were prayers in front of Australian, British and French flags - and representatives from the Australian and British armies stood side by side with French veterans wearing medals and holding military banners.
Horrible Histories: Frightful First World War – Exhibition at Imperial War Museum North
Lovely lice, gruesome gas and sickness were just some of the horrors facing WWI soldiers – an appropriate subject for author Terry Deary of black comedy children's books, Horrible Histories. This exhibition is specially designed for younger visitors. Based on Frightful First World War, one of the most popular books in the Horrible Histories series from Scholastic Children's Books, the exhibition sets Terry Deary's powerful words and Martin Brown's illustrations alongside the Imperial War Museum's unrivalled collections. "It's a story of what happens when machines go to war and human beings get in the way."
The In Flanders Fields Museum offers stark, captivating look at WWI
"In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow. Between the crosses row on row..." So begins the poem for which a WWI museum in Ypres, Belgium, is named. The famed poem by Canadian military surgeon John McCrae, sets the spirit for In Flanders Fields Museum, which offers a bleak picture of the realities of combat in Ypres. The city was literally leveled during fighting in World War I. A scale model of Ypres shows nothing more than a few stacks of rubble and fighting trenches - That's how intense the combat was. The museum gives visitors a harsh look at the First World War trench warfare.
New memorial to WWI ace Red Baron to attract tourists (Article no longer available from the original source)
Baron Manfred von Richthofen flew above the muddy World War I battlefields in his red Fokker tri-plane, knocking down a record 80 Allied aircraft on his way to the war's top fighter ace and earning the famed "Red Baron" nom de guerre. But von Richthofen, who was shot down and killed in 1918, has been a legend in limbo since Poland's borders moved west after World War II and swallowed the baron's hometown of Schweidnitz, today Swidnica. Honoring a German soldier in Poland can still be a sensitive issue as the two countries wrestle with efforts by some Germans to regain property lost to Poland when the borders shifted after the Second World War.
Great War memorial arch appeal
A public appeal has begun to raise £100,000 to save a monument to honour servicemen who died in the Great War. The Memorial Arch, built in 1923, features the names of 8,500 men from Gwynedd who died in the World War I. Posters have been placed throughout the area highlighting the campaign, and a web site has been set up which includes a virtual tour of the inside. "There is an incredible feeling when you walk into the monument and are faced with tall, 6-7 foot panels, with all the names of those who died," said Llio Wyn Richards.
The last fully operational WWI British Mk V tank is to be run
The last fully operational World War I British Mk V tank is to be run for what could be the last time as it prepares for an appearance at the Lord Mayor`s show in London. It is being driven from its current position in the Tank Museum at Bovington onto a low loader so it can be transported. Staff in period WWI uniforms from the museum will accompany the battle tank as it is drawn along to mark two important 90th anniversaries of armoured warfare. "In November 1917 tanks appeared before the mass British public for the first time at the Lord Mayor`s Show. The first tank attack in history took place the previous September..."
Statue to honour World War I PM David Lloyd George criticised
Anti-war campaigners have criticised the statue to honour WW1 PM David Lloyd George. The Parliament Square memorial unveiled by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall is the first to the "Welsh wizard" in London. A letter signed by Harold Pinter and others claimed he left a legacy of violence. But historian Kenneth O Morgan called Lloyd George a great radical who deserved to be honoured. Other signatories include John Pilger and Denis Halliday. They said Lloyd George's leadership saw bombing by British war planes across the Middle East, and left a legacy of violence: "All of which makes today's celebration of Lloyd George's legacy highly ... disgraceful."
The next big Canadian War Museum controversy
A lot of people are upset that the Canadian War Museum surrendered to the veterans' lobby. I've been itching to go through the exhibits with a magic marker. What is it I want to change? I've got a long list... The ranks of WW1 vets are thin, but if there were any capable of going to the museum, I'm sure they'd be miffed. The origins of the Great War: "Europe was a powder keg" the display reads. "Mutual grievances, opposing alliances and secret treaties divided the heavily armed great powers. After the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand, countries rushed to settle old scores ... the rest of the world was dragged in." Germany is merely mentioned.
Time, Neglect Leave D.C.'s Great War Memorial in Sorry Shape
It's a warm day on the National Mall in Washington. Tourists snap photos in front of the WWII Memorial or pay tribute at the Korean War Memorial. Between these two popular sites in West Potomac Park one monument is ignored: the District of Columbia World War Memorial. While it has a prime location not far from the Reflecting Pool, few people take the short walk to have a look. It's a simple, elegant structure, framed by oak and elm trees. The names of the 499 D.C. vets killed in the Great War are inscribed around the base. This impressive memorial is suffering from neglect. A survey revealed chipped stones, faulty drainage, among other problems.
Museum of 1914 Sarajevo assassination that triggered WWI reopens (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918 that tells the story of the 1914 assassination that sparked the First World War reopened after renovations. It catalogues the period of Austro-Hungarian rule and the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Gavrilo Princip fatally shot Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, on a street corner near Latin Bridge. Pictures went around the world: the archduke and his pregnant wife Sophie slumped in the back of an open car. Princip was captured and sent to prison where he died of tuberculosis 4 years later. The shots led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, dismembering the Habsburg Empire and igniting WWI.
French historians honor Scottish World War I Victoria Cross hero
Private Hugh McIver was awarded the VC for his bravery in the battle to capture the towns of Albert and Bapaume. But the Royal Scots regiment lost contact with his relatives and the historians want to hear from them. Phillippe Drouin said they may erect a pillar in honour of his heroism in 1918, as he was the only VC to die in the area. "We are trying to figure out exactly where McIver's action that won him the VC happened." He was a runner carrying messages between trenches east of Courcelle Le Compte when he won his VC. He chased a German scout, captured a machine-gun post, then stopped a British tank crew firing on their own soldiers.
War medals to the Canadian Scottish Regiment Regimental Museum
The war medals belonging to the first Winnipeg man, Lance Cpl. Duncan Currie Patterson, to be killed in World War 1 will be handed over to the Canadian Scottish Regiment Regimental Museum in Victoria. He was also a veteran of the Boer War. At a ceremony, his granddaughter Joan Logan will donate four war medals to the regimental museum where they will be on display. Such donations are "very welcome. The medals and decorations that families donate to the museum enable us to be able to create a reflection of service," said honorary colonel of the regiment Michael Heppell.
A memorial for Victoria Cross War Hero Christopher Cox
A memorial honouring the WWI deeds of Private Christopher Cox was unveiled at a site near the village of Achiet-le-Grand in France. The ceremony took place against the back drop of the battlefield where on March 15 1917 Pte Cox, a stretcher-bearer with the 7th Bedfordshire Regiment, rescued dozens of his comrades while bullets and shells exploded around him. To mark the 90th anniversary of his bravery, and the liberation of the village of Achiet-le-Grand from the Germans, a memorial was unveiled. Pt Cox's son said: "It was very, very emotional. I never ever dreamt something like this would happen and there would be so many people here."
Memorial to legend Jack - wrote World War One marching songs
Oldbury`s famous son Jack Judge, who penned the world famous song It`s A Long Way To Tipperary, is to be immortalised at the town`s bus station. Music hall entertainer Judge, who lived his entire life in the town, wrote a number of First World War marching songs. "There is already a Jack Judge commemorative bench outside the Council House. We now hope to incorporate a memorial in plans to redevelop the site of Oldbury bus station in the town centre. Firm proposals are still being drawn up."
Forgotten World War 1 Plaques Found In Vault
Two dozen plaques honoring WWI veterans were discovered in Norwood, and officials are trying to get them to family members. The plaques may be a little dusty after being in a basement vault for 90 years, but they are unharmed pieces of history. There are 24 framed certificates for Norwood's WW1 heroes: 24 soldiers who never received an honor the town wanted them to have. Ted Mulvehill and a custodian pulled them from an old treasurer's vault before the Town Hall is renovated. They also recovered a registry that almost 500 Norwood WWI veterans signed. It shows each soldier's rank, their injuries and what they did in service.
Villagers erect memorial to Scots who fell at Passchendaele
The people of a Flemish village Zonnebeke plan to honour Scottish soldiers who found a last resting place in Flanders' fields at the height of one of the First World War's bloodiest battles. They hope to raise a Celtic Cross on the long ridge where the men of the 51st Highland and 9th and 15th Lowland divisions died storming German trenches during the 4-month offensive at Passchendaele. The action was the third phase of the fight for the Ypres salient and was aimed at driving through enemy lines to capture U-boat pens on the Belgian coast from which submarines were wreaking havoc on allied shipping.
Vandalised war memorial of the fallen heroes of World War I
Littered with cigarette butts and vandalised - that is the dismal state of the cenotaph in the Espla-nade which is dedicated to the fallen heroes of World War 1 (1914-1918). A bronze sword sticks out from the face of the memorial but minus the hilt. The bronze and copper plaques bearing the names of those who died in WW1 have been stolen. What`s left is a bare stone structure. "The cenotaph will celebrate its 85th anniversary on March 31. We plan to have a parade with bagpipe players and the armed forces..." The cenotaph was unveiled by the Prince of Wales on March 31, 1922, at the Esplanade seafront where some WWI battles were fought.
World War I memorial discovered in garage
John Bettridge is hoping to get a memorial to 174 WW1 war dead re-erected after it was found lying in bits in a garage, unseen in public for 17 years. Research led him to find a memorial to Simeon Brown and 173 other war dead stored in the lock-up garage in Derbyshire. "You wouldn't expect to find it in a place like this would you?"
Lost VC hero memorial unveiled -- World War I hero
A memorial is being unveiled to a World War I hero, who was known as the "Lost Victoria Cross" because his grave was unknown for 50 years. L/Cpl Alfred Wilcox won the VC for his bravery in killing 12 enemy soldiers in 1918 but was forgotten after his burial in 1954. A memorial is being unveiled in Aston Parish after his grave was traced. The soldier with the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was the only Victoria Cross winner whose exact resting place was unknown. He was given the highest military honour for "conspicuous bravery" capturing 4 machine gun nests almost single-handedly in the trenches at Laventie in Sept 1918.
Found after 30 years - the names of 707 World War 1 heroes
The names of 707 "lost" war heroes are to be reinstated on a war memorial, thanks to a two-year search. Ian Church was appalled that bronze plaques honouring the names of soldiers from WW1, who trained at Ampthill, had not been replaced after the Memorial was vandalised. "I thought it was about time that the names were replaced on the memorial. But the main problem was that a record of the 707 names was not kept. Two years down the line I found out that the 11th Duke of Bedford recorded a list." During 1914-1918, Ampthill Park was the Bedfordshire Training Depot where 2,235 men trained at an army camp set up by first commanding officer Herbrand XI Duke of Bedford.
Conservation of memorial to WWI Indian soldiers
Repairs for Indian Army memorial: A memorial to Indian soldiers who died in East Sussex during World War 1 is due to undergo some conservation work. Memorial was erected in 1921 at the site where soldiers who died while being treated in Brighton were cremated. About 12,000 injured Indian soldiers were taken to Brighton for treatment during World War I.
The Battle of Belleau Wood now remembered by a cemetery
1918, the height of the WW1 and German forces have pushed far into France, coming close to the French capital. The Battle of Belleau Wood occurred near the Marne River. The battle was fought between a mainly US Allied force and German units. The battle is remembered because of its extremely bloody nature and its close proximity to Paris. The Allies attempted to take the woods but were repeatedly forced back by artillery and machine gun fire. After re-taking the woods a total of six times the US Marines managed to force the German forces out, often reduced to using only their bayonets in close quarters combat.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - 20,000 Canadians without grave
Almost 20,000 of the 80,000 Canadians who died in World War I have no identifiable grave. Those who could be identified as Canadian have gravestones inscribed "A Canadian Soldier of the Great War - known unto God." In May 2000, Canada created the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to represent all Canadian service people who have no known grave. The Canadian government asked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to select a grave of an unidentified Canadian soldier in the Vimy Ridge area.