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(BBC)   Britain to put 1.5 million pages of soldiers' diaries from WWI online   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 31
    More: Interesting, WWI, National Archives, Britain, soldiers, First Battalion, personnel, British Army, Imperial War Museum  
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1545 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jan 2014 at 11:18 PM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-14 09:47:17 PM
"March 10, 1918 - I've just received word that the German army is on their way here with the express purpose of using my nipples for target practice."
 
2014-01-14 11:20:39 PM
I rather read the diaries of the bankers.  Now those must be scary.
 
2014-01-14 11:21:06 PM
Dear diary:

Life in the trenches is miserable.  We're under constant stress from the shelling and provisions are grossly inadequate.  Just today I received a ham sandwich without a sufficient amount of mustard.  Oh, wait!  Good news!  Someone's yelling something about in-bound mustard!  Gotta run!

-Nigel
 
2014-01-14 11:21:50 PM
The last gentleman's war.
 
2014-01-14 11:22:16 PM

flynn80: I rather read the diaries of the bankers.  Now those must be scary.


According to Hitler they were all wriiten in Yiddish.  I'd like to read the diaries of the arms dealers.
 
2014-01-14 11:24:37 PM
Do a GIS for Otto Dix war paintings.  Mostly NSFW.  But worth a thousand words.
 
2014-01-14 11:26:21 PM
On page 1,286,397, 5th paragraph down, there's reference to my great-great-great Aunt Shirly.  So let me know when you get to that point.
 
2014-01-14 11:31:37 PM
What a horrible war. Huddled in muddy trenches rife with disease, enduring constant shelling, waiting for the insane order to march through barbed wire towards an entrenched enemy equipped with machine guns trained on your position. Seeing your friends and fellow soldiers cut to pieces at your side and for what? A few hundred yards of muddy, blasted terrain that would be retaken in a week anyway.

What a waste.
 
2014-01-14 11:31:46 PM
I've read a couple of my grand-uncle's letters from WWI, just before he died from Spanish flu. It's more than a little sad how he tells his mom (my great-grandmother) that he's looking forward to returning home. :(
 
2014-01-14 11:33:03 PM
Captain Darling: Ahm... not all that good, Blackadder. Rather hoped I'd get through the whole show. Go back to work at Pratt and Sons, keep wicket for the Croydon Gentlemen, marry Doris... Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says: "Bugger."
 
2014-01-14 11:34:05 PM
I've already done about 4 pages of markup on some diary pages. It's not too riveting as, so far, it's a daily official report. E.U. Newell, the author of the pages, seems to find that the huts and quarters that his group takes over from other groups are all "in filthy condition." There was also a bit of excitement when the C.O. viewed some pumping works. So far they've just traveled from town to town.

Still, it's interesting to see these bits of history.
 
2014-01-14 11:37:28 PM
It has been almost a hundred years and they're still digging up unexploded shells from that war.
 
2014-01-14 11:40:03 PM
Dear Diary,

This is f*cking bullsh*t.

*sigh*

Signed,
2nd Lt. Forester
 
2014-01-14 11:48:34 PM
"Lieutenant Scripes abhorred the way Reggie, err, Captain Thistleton carried on with the men."
 
2014-01-14 11:51:01 PM
I could imagine the quartermasters corp... "We've run out of canned beef and veggies, but stocks of journals and pencils hold out well!"
 
2014-01-14 11:51:03 PM
I have my grandmother's letters to my grandfather in Europe 1918-1919. Pretty cool to read about significant world events like the influenza quarantine, and prohibition. She literally used the term "demon alcohol" at one point.
 
2014-01-14 11:54:28 PM
once more into the beach, bleach, breach
 
2014-01-14 11:58:00 PM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-01-15 12:10:13 AM

nickdaisy: flynn80: I rather read the diaries of the bankers.  Now those must be scary.

According to Hitler they were all wriiten in Yiddish.  I'd like to read the diaries of the arms dealers.


The Bush family didn't show up until the '30s.
 
2014-01-15 12:25:28 AM
Not quite relevent to the diaries as such, but I always thought this was one of the more poignant moments of Blackadder:

Edmund: How could it possibly be worth it? We've been sitting here since Christmas 1914, during which millions of men have died, and we've advanced no further than an asthsmatic ant with some heavy shopping.

George: Well, but this time I'm absolutely pos we'll break through! It's ice cream in Berlin in 15 days.

Edmund: Or ice cold in No Man's Land in 15 seconds. No, the time has come to get out of this madness once and for all.

George: What madness is that?

Edmund: For God's sake, George, how long have you been in the army?

George: Oh me? I joined up straight away, sir. August the 4th, 1914. Gah, what a day that was: myself and the rest of the fellows leapfrogging down to the Cambridge recruiting office and then playing tiddlywinks in the queue. We had hammered Oxford's tiddlywinkers only the week before, and there we were, off to hammer the Boche! Crashingly superb bunch of blokes. Fine, clean-limbed -- even their acne had a strange nobility about it.

Edmund: Yes, and how are all the boys now?

George: Well, er, Jacko and the Badger bought it at the first Ypres front, unfortunately -- quite a shock, that. I remember Bumfluff's house- master wrote and told me that Sticky had been out for a duck, and the Gubber had snitched a parcel sausage-end and gone goose-over-stump frogside.

Edmund: Meaning...?

George: I don't know, sir, but I read in the Times that they'd both been killed.

Edmund: And Bumfluff himself...?

George: Copped a packet at Gallipoli with the Aussies -- so had Drippy and Strangely Brown. I remember we heard on the first morning of the Somme when Titch and Mr Floppy got gassed back to Blighty.

Edmund: Which leaves...?

George: Gosh, yes, I, I suppose I'm the only one of the Trinity Tiddlers still alive. Lummy, there's a thought -- and not a jolly one.
 
2014-01-15 12:25:57 AM
He worked on that cake like no one else I've ever known. [boom] Some nights it was so cold, we could hardly move, but Blackie'd be out there slicing the lemons, mixing the sugar and the almonds. [boom] I mean, you try trying to get butter to melt at fifteen degrees below zero! There's love in that cake. This man's love... and this man's care... and this m-- [boom] Aghh
 
2014-01-15 12:28:41 AM
I think Anne Frank said it best:

"They READ my DIARY!? EHRMAGAAAAAWD!!!! "
 
2014-01-15 12:57:22 AM
Sweet baby Jesus--I for one am genuinely ecstatic for this development. Can you imagine the great assistance this will be for historians? Especially those that would not otherwise be able to go to the UK and see the diaries in person--for a lot of American historians, this is huge.
 
2014-01-15 01:40:30 AM

maram500: Sweet baby Jesus--I for one am genuinely ecstatic for this development. Can you imagine the great assistance this will be for historians? Especially those that would not otherwise be able to go to the UK and see the diaries in person--for a lot of American historians, this is huge.


I agree

/history teacher
 
2014-01-15 03:13:01 AM

zoomddy: maram500: Sweet baby Jesus--I for one am genuinely ecstatic for this development. Can you imagine the great assistance this will be for historians? Especially those that would not otherwise be able to go to the UK and see the diaries in person--for a lot of American historians, this is huge.

I agree

/history teacher



You might like to assign your students some homework of marking up a page or two of the diaries. Operation War Diary is a crowd sourcing project to make them more discoverable.
 
2014-01-15 06:10:43 AM
If any war showed the horrors that lead from blind patriotism, it was that one.

\would the 20th century world have been a better place if the US had stayed out an let the Germans win?
\\that question always makes me think: what if?
 
2014-01-15 08:05:55 AM
http://www.worldwaronecolorphotos.com

Sorry, on mobile. No clicky. But totally worth the cut and paste.
 
2014-01-15 08:50:38 AM
One of the more interesting things I've read were descriptions of the quality of WWI trenches by nation. As much one can ascribe "quality" to a trench.

Germany: generally considered the best, mostly dry, providing decent cover. Ersatz food.
UK & Commonwealth: close second, problems with drainage. As much bully beef, trench foot, as you can handle.
France: Cesspits.
US: used French Cesspits. THANKS WILSON.
 
2014-01-15 08:51:45 AM
Good.

The strange forest-goblin who is currently dismantling the education system in the UK has gone on record recently saying that portraying WWI as an international tragedy is left-wing revisionist history.

Someone should present these documents to his curiously malformed face.

farking hate this bunch of Tories.
 
2014-01-15 09:03:03 AM
I have several relatives that died during WW1. It would be interesting see if there are mentions of them or their units.
 
2014-01-15 12:00:41 PM

Lawlborough: One of the more interesting things I've read were descriptions of the quality of WWI trenches by nation. As much one can ascribe "quality" to a trench.

Germany: generally considered the best, mostly dry, providing decent cover. Ersatz food.
UK & Commonwealth: close second, problems with drainage. As much bully beef, trench foot, as you can handle.
France: Cesspits.
US: used French Cesspits. THANKS WILSON.


they reflected the philosophy of the armies building them. The Germans, once they had grabbed a big chunk of France and Belgium, sat on the defensive until Spring 1918 so their trenches were extremely well made. The French until Verdun had a policy of attack! Attack! Attack! And the trenches were just jumping-off points so were often just scrapes and shell-holes. The British-commonwealth policy was of more conservative offensive so their trenches were in between the extremes.  Apparently the Portugese trenches horrified even hardened troops who took them over. They were literally cess-pits.
 
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