Photos that make you think.

A while back the Jeremy Vine show on R2 had a programme devoted to Zeppelins and the RFC pilots who shot them down. They described how Londoners had been terrorised by the Zeppelin raids so when a way was finally found to shoot them down, crowds gathered to watch singing the national anthem and cheering as the airships fell burning.

Then an old dear called in to say nobody cheered, nobody sang the national anthem. Londoners watched horrified as German airmen fell screaming to their deaths, landing all around and bursting like over-ripe fruit when they hit the ground. Men and women cried at the sight and the screams haunted her the rest of her life.

Put a dampener on Vine's jingoistic version of events.
Somebody called relating a tale from WW1?

Hmmm...
 
Lifted this pic from a mates FB feed ( obviously not taken by me...)

I think its a cracking shot; two young blokes, in a scrap, doing their job.



For background, one of the blokes had just been shot in the stomach, MERT was inbound. Guy was moved by his mates on a basha.
He lived to tell the tale.
1534520989877.png
 
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There is a detailed account out there somewhere of how they went about locating a suitable body. IIRC there was an undisturbed area with a quantity of unburied British dead, from which they were able to gather several sets of individually unidentifiable remains. These were bagged up and taken to some place where one set was duly chosen to become the representative.

IIRC#2 the unwanted sets of bones were apparently dumped back into a shell hole, as they hadn't been recovered by graves registration and there was no-one else around to deal with them.

IIRC#3 subsequent graves registration work at the recovery site probably actually identified who the "unknown" remains were, but this was quietly set to one side.

I imagine that it was actually quite difficult at that time, at short notice and to a deadline, to locate a complete set of remains that was definitely British, yet unidentifiable by rank or unit, and wasn't just a sack full of random dispersed bone fragments.
I blame BBC radio for most of my recollections! ;) .

I remember a programme describing the proceedure . . .

Three annonymous bodies, from widely separated locations (possibly even different Theatres of Operations), each in an unmarked, annonymous coffin, were placed in a line together - in a room - and left.

Then, different blokes, from a different unit, totally unknown/unconnected to those who had performed the work described above, went into the room with instructions to move (re-shuffel) the positions of the coffins.

I believe then, lots(?) were drawn to decide which coffin/body would actually be used/selected.

The remaining two - presumably - burried in the usual type of grave, regrettably containing someone "known only unto God".
 
There is a detailed account out there somewhere of how they went about locating a suitable body. IIRC there was an undisturbed area with a quantity of unburied British dead, from which they were able to gather several sets of individually unidentifiable remains. These were bagged up and taken to some place where one set was duly chosen to become the representative.

IIRC#2 the unwanted sets of bones were apparently dumped back into a shell hole, as they hadn't been recovered by graves registration and there was no-one else around to deal with them.

IIRC#3 subsequent graves registration work at the recovery site probably actually identified who the "unknown" remains were, but this was quietly set to one side.

I imagine that it was actually quite difficult at that time, at short notice and to a deadline, to locate a complete set of remains that was definitely British, yet unidentifiable by rank or unit, and wasn't just a sack full of random dispersed bone fragments.
All previously interred unknowns; and one was selected from the Ypres Salient, one from near Arras, one from the Somme and one from the Aisne. I think it was meant to cover the main areas fought over from 1914 - 1918. The remains were placed in individual coffins which were draped in Union Flags. A blindfolded VSO was then led into the room and placed his hand on one coffin, thereby selecting the Unknown Soldier.

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
 
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I think you are being unecessarily sceptical there @Bravo_Bravo. Entirely possible that they were recounting something told to them by Granny.
... most possible.

When I was a kid, gran (mum's mum) told me she remembered seeing a zeppelin caught in searchlights. She was a little girl about 5 years old being carried by her dad. My mum was a kid during the last war and remembers bombers in searchlights and then doodle bugs. Mum was born in 1937. Two generations with similar experiences that to us seem almost fictional. We are a fortunate generation.

As an add - I've obviously not had that experience but it is very vivid when you are told about it over tea by gran and mum when you aren't much older than they were when it happened to them.
 
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A while back the Jeremy Vine show on R2 had a programme devoted to Zeppelins and the RFC pilots who shot them down. They described how Londoners had been terrorised by the Zeppelin raids so when a way was finally found to shoot them down, crowds gathered to watch singing the national anthem and cheering as the airships fell burning.

Then an old dear called in to say nobody cheered, nobody sang the national anthem. Londoners watched horrified as German airmen fell screaming to their deaths, landing all around and bursting like over-ripe fruit when they hit the ground. Men and women cried at the sight and the screams haunted her the rest of her life.

Put a dampener on Vine's jingoistic version of events.
What slant were the BBC putting on it to begin with? Unthinking Jingoism?
 
It was the anniversary of the first Zeppelin being shot down I think and they just tried to make it black and white - plucky terrorised Brits fighting back with science and brave pilots against a faceless enemy.
 
mason.jpg


A female mason working on the tower of the City Hall in Berlin, 1910. As Germany rapidly industrialised, it wasn't uncommon for daughters to be trained in the skills of the father to keep family businesses going.
 
View attachment 346761

A female mason working on the tower of the City Hall in Berlin, 1910. As Germany rapidly industrialised, it wasn't uncommon for daughters to be trained in the skills of the father to keep family businesses going.

Although that photo and "mason" narrative is reproduced endlessly around the internet, I wonder if it hasn't been mis-captioned at source? The building environs don't seem to bear any resemblance to those of Berlin's old or "new" (1861) city halls. Looks more like an industrial area, and its indeterminate as to what trade she is involved in.

Can't imagine how tricky it must have been to shin up ladders and scaffolding in full 19th century skirts though!
 
Although that photo and "mason" narrative is reproduced endlessly around the internet, I wonder if it hasn't been mis-captioned at source? The building environs don't seem to bear any resemblance to those of Berlin's old or "new" (1861) city halls. Looks more like an industrial area, and its indeterminate as to what trade she is involved in.

Can't imagine how tricky it must have been to shin up ladders and scaffolding in full 19th century skirts though!
And . . . who - and how - was the photo taken ?!

As the thread title says, it's "got me thinking".
 

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