Category: London armistice

London county council & world war I

I don’t have anything amazing to say in this post, but I do have a site which I spent many hours building around Christmas 2017. Sadly, like many of the soldiers in the trenches in that time, I was struggling a little at work, and was getting up at 6am in the morning over the Christmas break for some reason, I have no idea why, but it did happen.

During these early morning sojourns on the internet, I built a site around the London County council and their employees who served during world war one. I stopped building the site shortly after, but it is pretty amazing what I can do in quite  a short period of time.

The London County Council provided a service record of the Great War, in 1920, and this was awarded to all of its former staff. It is a brilliant record of the war; and its highs and lows, the dead and those awarded with gallantry medals; this record actually lists about 10,000 former LCC personnel, and brief details of their war record, including deaths and their length of service, their regiment, and any gallantry awards etc.

I recorded this detail at the London18.co.uk site; plus a sister site. I cannot remember why I split the details, but both are worth a visit. In addition are added records of some gallantry awards, and other regimental information.

I left employment later that year through early retirement. I doubt I would have lasted a week in the trenches, what an awful war. And then, in 1918, followed a massive flu epidemic killing off  another 3-5% of the world population – known as the Spanish flu epidemic. In modern days, I think we call this bird flu, and will happen again sometime soon.

Whatever. And now we have Trump, ignorant moron, refusing to accept climate change, and who will kill the planet and most of us in the next 10 years or so.

Happy days.

 

London 1918 armistice & 100 years

This year is one hundred years since the first world war ended. A brutal war in which millions of innocent people lost their lives due to a couple of  upper class twats of the European royal family argument! Wars are futile, this one was horrendous. Young and old signed up to do their duty to protect their country, and their King.

What was unusual about Great Britain at the time was the fact that a small but powerful army existed due to the existence of the British Empire. This army was  capable of sudden changes required in defence of the realm, with an amazing infrastructure in place to support this. This force was sent to France at the start of the war, and was known as the British Expeditionary force (B.E.F.); and also named the Old Contemptibles. Its primary aim was to defend the line against the oncoming German forces, numbering over two million, and between the French and Belgian forces. They were vastly outnumbered, but were a very disciplined army.

The German army had about 2.1 million soldiers and 1.7 million older reservists, the French 3.6 million; the Belgians ; and then there was the British army of about 200,000 spread around the Empire; plus 270,000 territorials! See my intro here :

I doubt this army ever expected to have to be placed in such an overwhelming minority again, after a handful of British soldiers protected Rorke’s drift in South Africa against massive odds, but this was again the case.

The rest is history, and I have reprinted an ex-copyright book on the history of the Royal Fusiliers to clarify some of the actions during this time.

If you are aware of the early World War One service medals, there existed a war medal, a victory medal and also a star. This star was eith the 1914 star, or the 1914-1915 star. The former could also have a Mons bar, this depicted service during 1914 and at Mons, the point at which the loyal armies of the French, Belgian and English made a stand before retreat.

Now, onto the London reference relating to this history – firstly, there were the First Sportsmans who were initially based at Hornchurch, and there is a rather excellent record of their time during the war written by Fred Ward. I was initially drawn to this book, due to its local interest.

Then there were the Artists Rifles, who started life as territorial regiments, and later became the main officer training corps, and enlisted men, and women, from the Universities. They included the famous war poet Wilfred Owen.

Lastly, and this is just a summary of the sites I built last Christmas, were the employees of the London County Council (LCC). At the end of the war, every previous LCC employee, or family member of the deceased, were sent an amazing ‘short’ history of the 10,000 (that’s ten thousand) former staff members and their brief life in that time.

That’s enough for now, I need to update those sites a bit more, very soon. Thanks for reading, I enjoyed this part of my former and ongoing research!