Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives. At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in […]
At first it seems a strange title. “They shall grow not old” is from Laurence Binyon’s epitaph on The Fallen of World War I, but the emphasis in Peter Jackson’s masterly film is firmly on those who survived it: the men who enlisted and went out to France, but lived and came home to tell […]
“Have you forgotten yet?” (Aftermath, Siegfried Sassoon) Even before the guns fell silent across the Western Front a century ago, staff at the Michelin Touring Office in London were busy preparing guidebooks for motorists intending to go see the trenches for themselves (see images above and below). By the early 1920s battlefield tourism had become big […]
On the centenary of the WWI Battle of Passchendaele, Chris Moore explores the legend and legacy of ‘the general who wept’.
When the Great War began for Britain, August 4th, 1914, the British Army was recognisably the one described so affectionately in the works of Rudyard Kipling. It was ridiculously small – scarcely 450,000 men, including reservists – by comparison with the millions-strong levies being mobilised by France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. But Kipling’s army was […]
As we commemorate Armistice Day, Vanessa Lafaye looks back on the devastating fallout of the First World War – and the unseen enemy waiting in the wings. With the cruelest of ironies, even as the Armistice bells were ringing in every town and village, another attack was under way. The enemy wore no uniform, was invisible […]
We talk to Chris Moore about his HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown shortlisted novel, The Hoarse Oaths of Fife. The HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown celebrates new voices in historical fiction. Have you always been interested in history? Always. My dad was one of those guys who stops in the street to gawk every time he comes […]
About two thirds of the way through the first episode of The Somme 1916 – From Both Sides of the Wire (BBC2; six parts starting 18 July; prod/dir: Alastair Laurence) there is a sequence which could stand as a paradigm of what can be done with history on television. Peter Barton stands in the field […]