Photos that make you think.

I spoke at length to my father, a Royal Welch Fusilier regarding the armistice.
On the 10th of November 1918, his Bn were relieved in the line just short of Mons and went back for rest at the village of Eth. It had rained for about a week and they were wet through. In fact there was no front line but merely shell holes and a line of men in the open. In the proceeding open warfare they had advanced 15 miles in 14 days.
He was in awe of the artillery, who he saw for the first time 'Racing up, unhinging the horses and providing immediate gun fire.
The news of the armistice came to his company by way of a new recruit shouting out the news of a cease fire. He rolled under his groundsheet and went back to sleep, the morning of the 12th of November was spent digging graves for 22 men of his Brigade. He regarded the lack of shellfire, machine gun fire and rifle fire as 'a strange experience after four years of noise.' He never mentioned jubilation; only 'What the hell will happen now'?
as i said i think i'd get the gaol for a bit. i'd take hostilities only to mean just that.

on a side note i just listened to a BBC world service documentary about the Flu (with a capital F) epidemic of 1918/19 and one of the medics involved said he believed it may have originated in the depot at Etaples in the summer/autumn of 1917. there were a few accounts read of blokes who were demobbed after a few years of fighting then died of the flu a week or two after the end of the war.

life was grim up north.......or down south....or whatever
 
Its the SS Richard Montgomery. in the Thames estuary, just off sheerness it had 1400 tons appx of explosive. and is too unstable to salvage. the navy go down once a year to inspect, they reckon that if it detonates it will take out everything in a 1 mile radius. it went down on 20th august 1944. It is highly unstable, and is in the middle of the shipping lane approach to the Thames. Its a case of when, not if.
 
Its the SS Richard Montgomery. in the Thames estuary, just off sheerness it had 1400 tons appx of explosive. and is too unstable to salvage. the navy go down once a year to inspect, they reckon that if it detonates it will take out everything in a 1 mile radius. it went down on 20th august 1944. It is highly unstable, and is in the middle of the shipping lane approach to the Thames. Its a case of when, not if.

the people who live 1.5 miles away must be praying for that to go off, it'd be great for house prices
 
Another problem was that the British Government secretly didn't want five million men put immediately into the community at home, they wanted it phased in, which is what happened. Some units remained in France until the Treaty was signed in 1919. I believe all the above to be true, but will be glad to hear other opinions.
A genuine question.
Why did the Gov of the day not want to release the men into the community as fast as feasible?
After all, they were dragged from the very same community as fast as the authorities could get them into uniform, and they were returning to the very same community.
 
I spoke at length to my father, a Royal Welch Fusilier regarding the armistice.
On the 10th of November 1918, his Bn were relieved in the line just short of Mons and went back for rest at the village of Eth. It had rained for about a week and they were wet through. In fact there was no front line but merely shell holes and a line of men in the open. In the proceeding open warfare they had advanced 15 miles in 14 days.
He was in awe of the artillery, who he saw for the first time 'Racing up, unhinging the horses and providing immediate gun fire.
The news of the armistice came to his company by way of a new recruit shouting out the news of a cease fire. He rolled under his groundsheet and went back to sleep, the morning of the 12th of November was spent digging graves for 22 men of his Brigade. He regarded the lack of shellfire, machine gun fire and rifle fire as 'a strange experience after four years of noise.' He never mentioned jubilation; only 'What the hell will happen now'?
Utmost respect to your father.
Isn't there an old saying that goes, "If wartime don't kill yer, peacetime will"?
 
There were discipline problems, mainly caused by some of the rules, one rule was; 'If you have a job to go to, prove it by letter and apply for release now!' The only people with that sort of privilege were the ones that had just arrived at the Front. That rule caused bad feeling by the men who had been in France and Belgium for four years or so, and had no job to go back to. The other problem was 'Time on their hands' Idle hands etc. Regular Bns had priority for ships out of French docks, some of these Bns didn't go home, but went direct to Stations overseas. The Canadians and Australians became quite frustrated in not being sent directly home and caused some rioting, mainly in England. Another problem was that the British Government secretly didn't want five million men put immediately into the community at home, they wanted it phased in, which is what happened. Some units remained in France until the Treaty was signed in 1919. I believe all the above to be true, but will be glad to hear other opinions.
My Grandfather ended up BAOR in Koln until 1921, he was a bit vexed as all the choice birds he fancied had been grabbed by his mates
 
A genuine question.
Why did the Gov of the day not want to release the men into the community as fast as feasible?
After all, they were dragged from the very same community as fast as the authorities could get them into uniform, and they were returning to the very same community.
Reasonable to consider that the men who were taken from Civvy Street were a different beast to the men who were to return.
 
I spoke at length to my father, a Royal Welch Fusilier regarding the armistice.
On the 10th of November 1918, his Bn were relieved in the line just short of Mons and went back for rest at the village of Eth. It had rained for about a week and they were wet through. In fact there was no front line but merely shell holes and a line of men in the open. In the proceeding open warfare they had advanced 15 miles in 14 days.
He was in awe of the artillery, who he saw for the first time 'Racing up, unhinging the horses and providing immediate gun fire.
The news of the armistice came to his company by way of a new recruit shouting out the news of a cease fire. He rolled under his groundsheet and went back to sleep, the morning of the 12th of November was spent digging graves for 22 men of his Brigade. He regarded the lack of shellfire, machine gun fire and rifle fire as 'a strange experience after four years of noise.' He never mentioned jubilation; only 'What the hell will happen now'?
I have a book here some where, written by a Doctor who served with the RWF, he was well over the age required but knocked 20 years of his age
he is honest about what he saw and experienced
he published the book in 1939, not such a good year
only a handful of copies remained, but it was re printed a few years ago
 
Reasonable to consider that the men who were taken from Civvy Street were a different beast to the men who were to return.
I can't see that holding them in the military, mostly against their will, would have done anything to change their mindset, quite possibly it would have made it worse.
 
A genuine question.
Why did the Gov of the day not want to release the men into the community as fast as feasible?
After all, they were dragged from the very same community as fast as the authorities could get them into uniform, and they were returning to the very same community.

Of the men who had been employed before conscription, many/most would have been substituted in their jobs during their absence (not least by all the women now employed). Of the youngsters, of course they'd be returning as unskilled/inexperienced labour to a tight job market.

As it happened (and largely because of Lloyd George thoroughly wrecking the demob plan), about a million odd men ended up on the streets in a state of destitution.

Most of the men who agitated for immediate demob quickly realised they'd shafted themselves.
 
A genuine question.
Why did the Gov of the day not want to release the men into the community as fast as feasible?
After all, they were dragged from the very same community as fast as the authorities could get them into uniform, and they were returning to the very same community.
I suppose part of the issue was Nov 1918 was an armistice and a requirement to maintain a large enough effective force was required until the peace process was complete, then you could release the bulk of your personnel.
 
I have a book here some where, written by a Doctor who served with the RWF, he was well over the age required but knocked 20 years of his age
he is honest about what he saw and experienced
he published the book in 1939, not such a good year
only a handful of copies remained, but it was re printed a few years ago
Hello Josh! That would be 'The war the infantry knew' by Captain Dunn, and what a fantastic book it is, Capt Dunn was an excellent Bn MO and at one time he took command of the Battalion when most of the officers were killed. His authorship was secret until he late 1940s until the admitted it was him. A very detailed and interesting book, a classic!
 
A genuine question.
Why did the Gov of the day not want to release the men into the community as fast as feasible?
After all, they were dragged from the very same community as fast as the authorities could get them into uniform, and they were returning to the very same community.
I think there was a fear of 'Soldier's councils' and riots like those that were happening all over Germany.
 
Again ... slightly off thread .... Indeed .... see below a clip from All Quiet on The Western Front ... at ~50 seconds the Grim Reaper in the form of German Machine Gun Teams has a field day ... this film has such an element of reality about it that it in parts acquires documentary levels .... and although not a photograph it is a clip which when I first saw many , many years ago certainly made me think ...
anyway back on thread again .
Did the machine guns not shoot 'along' the line rather than the Hollywood style perpendicular? By doing so they exposed their fire to a greater number of troops.
 
Just as a complete change. For those of us who still have children at school.
c03961204d3008ca80d2ced14454cfdc.jpg

A head lice clinging to a single strand of human hair.
 
Hello Josh! That would be 'The war the infantry knew' by Captain Dunn, and what a fantastic book it is, Capt Dunn was an excellent Bn MO and at one time he took command of the Battalion when most of the officers were killed. His authorship was secret until he late 1940s until the admitted it was him. A very detailed and interesting book, a classic!
Thats the one
I must find my copy
 
Just as a complete change. For those of us who still have children at school.
View attachment 321988
A head lice clinging to a single strand of human hair.
That reminds me of my old troop staffy. We were warned for Bosnia for months, and it took quite a while for the Dayton Agreement to become a done deal. We did all the PDT and just sat round waiting. Eventually it was done and the day came. We were to report at some ungodly hour to the gym (0400 rings a bell) to get our docs, dogtags etc.

Our troop staffy turns up. He normally had a full head of hair, 1-1.5 inches long, short back & sides. Normal haircut for a squaddie. Well here he is, shaved down to the wood. Looked like he had a 5 o'clock shadow on his bonce, but that was it.

"Drinks" was a Rad Op by trade, effectively commanding a troop of RTGs and a couple of techs (one of whom was me). Completely outclassed by his JNCOs and the Tp Sgt. He did have a normal, social side which was OK, my MQ and his were fairly close and well out of town. He was fine socially, but a hand grenade at work.

So here he is with a blades haircut and we're about to deploy to Bosnia. In December. I asked him what the gig was. "Nits". One word and it all became clear. About the only sensible word I ever heard from that man at work. @JT0475 may remember!
 
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