Gallery Solace - The Great War 1914-1918
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30th January 1915

29th January 1915

28th January 1915

th January 1915

Today is indeed Wilhelm II, the German Emperors birthday, and as today’s paper suggests he was still smarting from the defeat at Dogger Bank issuing orders that all further risks to surface vessels were to be avoided. The German armies on the western front have again taken the offensive with simultaneous attacks at several points along the line. Today is the day the British war cabinet decides to attack the Dardanelles from the sea.

26th January 1915

blucher newspapers of the Great War
The loss of the German armoured cruiser Blucher:
Having taken part in the raids on Yarmouth, Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in 1914 which resulted in 137 deaths and 592 casualties, many of whom were civilians there was significant public outrage towards the German navy. So when Blucher was slowed significantly after being hit by gunfire from the British battlecruiser squadron and abandoned by Rear Admiral Hipper, the commander of the German squadron in order to save his more valuable battlecruisers she was left to the mercy of the Royal Navy who had no qualms in sinking her or abandoning the survivors of her crew to the sea when a German zeppelin began dropping bombs on the rescue effort. It is estimated that between 747 to 1,000 of Bluchers crew were killed.

25th January 1915

25 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War


On this day a hundred years ago a German deserter entered the British front line trenches at Cuinchy at about 7 am and let it be known of an imminent German attack about to take place Within half an hour of the warning four German mines exploded along the trench line occupied by No 4 company Coldstream Guards and immediately rushed and occupied by the Germans killing amongst others Captain Hon. J.B. Campbell. . No 1 Coy on the embankment by the La BasséeCanal held its ground and No 2 Coy under Lt Viscount Acheson held on to the keep and Brickstacks and repelled German attacks. The Scots Guards the immediate right shared a similar fate but were able to maintain a stand at the Brickfields. Reinforcements of London Scottish, Black Watch and Cameron Highlanders were sent up and a counter attack was made but it was found impossible to dislodge the Germans from the front trenches they had taken. After this German attack, the front settled down a little, but thiswas only a lull before a further storm.

24th January 1915

hms lion newspapers of the Great Wardogger bank newspapers of the Great WarOn the 23rd January room 40 of British Naval Intelligence intercepted German radio traffic outlining Admiral Franz Hipper′s battlecruiser squadrons plans on attacking the British fishing fleet on the Dogger Bank. A responce was quickly formulated by the Admiralty. Acting Vice Admiral Beatty set sail from Rosyth with five battlecruisers — supported by four light cruisers — in an attempt to trap Hipper′s force. The ensuing battle resulted in the loss of the German armoured cruiser SMS Blücher. The battlecruiser HMS Lion Vice Admiral Beatty's flagship was so badly damaged it had to be towed back to port by the battlecruiser Indomitable and was under repair for more than twomonths.


23rd January 1915

8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War23 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War

Numerous artillery engagements along whole line; successful French air-raids.

The RNAS continue their air raids on the German submarine station at Ostend and Zeebrugge. Today

Lieutenant Richard Bell-Davies and Lieutenant Richard Edmund Charles Peirse will drop eight bombs each on submarines alongside the mole at Zeebrugge. Flight Lieutenant Davies was severely wounded by a bullet in the thigh, but nevertheless he accomplished his task, handling his machine for an hour with great skill in spite of pain and loss of blood. . Both men would survive the Great War: Davies would recover from his wounds and go on to be awarded the Victoria Cross he achieve the rank of Vice Admiral he died 26th February 1966. Peirse would be knighted and achieve the rank of Air Chief Marshal he died 5th August 1970.

22nd January 1915

8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War

Tuesdays “The Murder Raid” or “Airship barbarities” over Norfolk and Suffolk still dominate todays daily’s, whilst sarcastically acknowledging the heroism required to kill women and children. The papers also ran reports of British and French bombing raids on Essen and Ostend pointing out the successful raids hit only military targets with no civilian casualties.

21st January 1915

Four persons, as far as is known at the time of writing, were murdered between the hours of eight and eleven on Tuesday night in the towns of Yarmouth and King’s Lynn. The murders were committed under circumstances of cold-blooded cruelty very rare in the records of crime. No motive whatever but the desire to kill and terrify can be assigned for these acts.” The Telegraph was pulling no punches in its criticism of the German air raids two days previously in its leader on page 8, while page 9 backed this up with indignation from across the Atlantic over the raid. There was plenty more on pages 9 and 12 reporting on the raid and its aftermath to fuel further ire as and its aftermath to fuel further ire as well.

20th JANUARY 1915


Yesterday’s Zeppelin raids which occurred at about 8.00pm is found on the back page of today’s pictorial news, this is more to do with press deadlines then Government censorship. The ironical aspect of yesterday’s attack would be that Yarmouth would not only be the first British town to be attacked by a Zeppelin it would also be the last but unlike the first the last would result in the downing of the German raider.

19th January 1915

8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War19 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War

While the good folk of Great Yarmouth were digesting today’s news of Russian advances little did they realize they would be tomorrow’s headlines? Germany employed three zeppelins, the L.3, the L.4, and the L.6, for the first airship raids on Britain. The L.6 turned back after encountering mechanical problems, but the other two zeppelins succeeded in dropping bombs on the towns of King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. The 19th January raids marked the start of over 50 attacks by German airships on Britain, which killedmore than 500 people and caused injury to many more.

18th January 1915

"old one o’clock”. Was Alexander Heinrich Rudolph von Kluck the German general who was in command of the German First Army which reached to within thirteen miles of Paris? It was Klucks decision to wheel his columns to the east of Paris which created the 30-mile gap in the German line which the British Expeditionary Force exploited forcing a German retreat and to take entrenched positions behind the River Aisne. Toward the end of March 1915 he was seriously injured which forced his retirement in 1916. His son, Lieutenant Egon von Kluck, was killed early in 1915. "old one o’clock”. was immortalized in a bawdy British army song

"Kaiser Bill is feeling ill,
The Crown Prince, he's gone barmy.
We don't give a f**k for old von Kluck
And all his bleedin' army."

16th JANUARY 1915

15th January 1915

15 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War
8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War

War news takes second place to a devastating earthquake which hits central Italy.

The 1915 Avezzano earthquake occurred on the 13 January in central Italy, near the city of L'Aquila. The epicentre was located in the town of Avezzano in central Italy. More than 30,000 deaths resulted from the earthquake. The quake took place at around 8:00 local time affecting thousands of people throughout central and southern Italy. The town of Avezzano was literally toppled from the shaking and only one high-rise building survived. 96 percent of its population was eliminated almost simultaneously. Because of World War I the government decided not to accept foreign assistance.

Throughout the middle of January there is trench exchanging in the Soissons area of France with German attacks and French retreating then role reversal. The German harassing operations gradually peter out and come to nothing..


14th JANUARY 1915

14 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War

The investiture of the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military award for bravery above and beyond the call of duty by His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace was always well publicised by the national press.  These men would be elevated to national hero statues. Their acts of heroism would appear in pictorials and their images on collective cigarette cards. They would be used by the state to give lectures and on recruitment drives.  David Nelson VC and John Dimmer VC would both be killed in action. Nelson at Lillers, France, on 8th April 1918 his Victoria Cross is displayed at the Imperial War Museum, London. John Dimmer would die at Marteville, France on 21st March 1918. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Green Jackets Museum, Winchester, England.    

13th JANUARY 1915

13 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War

January 1915 would be the wettest month for a century in the United Kingdom only being matched by the wet weather of 2014. Vast sways of land in Norfolk were under water and so dominated the national tabloid press headlines.

In today’s Telegraph is a report detailing the growing unrest in Constantinople following Turkish military defeat in the Caucasus. These reports would influence the British cabinets strategic planning towards the Ottoman Empire .Having already rejected a plan to attack the Ottoman Empire by  French Minister of Justice Aristide Briand and failed in an attempt to pay the Ottomans to join the Allied side, Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, proposed naval attack on the Dardanelles coincided with  Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia appeal to Britain for assistance against the Ottomans in freeing the mined entrance to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles.

12th January 1915

11th JANUARY 1915

9th JANUARY 1914

9 JAN15 newspapers of the Great War8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War

At the beginning of 1914 the British Army had just 80,000 regular troops ready for front line duty. In august 1914, the British Parliament issued a call for an extra 100,000 soldiers; by January 1915 a million men had enlisted. The reality of the retreat from Mons and the battle of the Marne and the perceived atrocities carried out by the German army meant men joined knowing that war was dangerous indeed many joined precisely because it seemed to be a threat to their home and their country. While voluntary enlistment was in place, pressure was put on every able bodied male to join up.

“je suis Charlie”

newspapers of the Great War“je suis Charlie”

8th January 1915

The British press played its part in a concerted effort to demonise the German Empire by publishing overseas editions of its newspapers. President Woodrow Wilson efforts to keep the United States neutral during the Great War “in thought and deed". The sentiment for neutrality was strong among Irish Americans, German Americans as well as among church leaders and women. However the drip drip feed of propaganda by the British press highlighting German atrocities embedded itself into the ordinary American conscious so when  the sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania in 1915 America leaned in favour of the UK by allowing large-scale loans to Britain and France.

7th January 1915

7 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War7 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War

The news of the Russian victory over the Ottomans at The Battle of Sarikamish is just starting to filter through to the British media. Ismail Enver Pasha who was the main leader of the Ottoman Empire during the Great War would blame his defeat on his Armenian soldiers, although in January 1915, an Armenian named Hovannes had saved his life during a battle by carrying Enver through battle lines on his back. Nonetheless, Ismail Pasha later initiated the deportations and sporadic massacres of Western Armenians, culminating in the Armenian Genocide the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian Desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians andthe Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Muslim Ottoman government,

6th January 1915

6 jan 15 newspapers of the Great War
For a full PDF version of today’s Daily Telegraph printed one hundred years ago please click here

5th January 1915

5 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War
The Ilford train crash occurred on New Year’s Day 1915, the primary cause being driver error and excessive speed when the London bound express collided with a local train killing ten and over 500 complaining of various injuries. Alfred Nicholls attempts to avert the crash by waving a red flag featured prominently in the press and at the inquiry which concluded that some form of Automatic Warning System should be introduced onto the railway system.

4th January 1914

4 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War
The press recount the bravery of the  Brixham trawler Provident BM291, Skippered by William Pillar, with First Hand William Carter, Second Hand John Clarke and Apprentice Daniel Taylor (né Ferguson), who picked up  men from one of HMS Formidable's pinnace (Ships boat.) before it sank, saving 71 members of the crew. Another story picked up by the press was that of a Half collie, Lassie who was owned by the landlord of the Pilot Boat, a pub in the port of Lyme Regis who’s cellar was being used as a temporary mortuary. The dog found her way down amongst the bodies, and she began to lick the face of one of the victims, Able Seaman John Cowan. She stayed beside him for more than half an hour, nuzzling him and keeping him warm with her fur. To everyone’s astonishment, Cowan eventually stirred. He was taken to hospital and went on to make a fullrecovery. The story was retold so many times that it eventually inspired the film makers of Hollywood and the legend of Lassie was born.

2nd January 1914

2 JAN 15 newspapers of the Great War

As far as the British public was concerned the loss of HMS Formidable was the first Royal Navy Battleship to have been sunk (HMS Audacious sinking was kept secret for the duration of the Great War) by enemy action.With the appearance of the new dreadnought-type battleships and battlecruisers beginning in 1906, predreadnoughts such as Formidable were outclassed but still played an important role in defending the English Channel. Formidable and the other ships of the 5th Battle Squadron were based at Sheerness because of concern that a German invasion of Great Britain was in the offing. The squadron was relieved by the 6th Battle Squadron and transferred to Portland on 30 December.Formidable sank after being hit by two torpedoes while participating in gunnery exercises off the Isle of Portland.


Ist January 1915

1 jan 15 newspapers of the Great War
The press and British public greeted 1915 with optimism. The Royal Navy defeat at Coronel had been convincingly revenged with victory over the German navy in the Battle of the Falklands; the ground lost to the Germans in France during August 1914 now having been retaken, the impression of the Germans seemingly on the retreat and the allies in the ascendance surely it will only be a matter of months before the victory bells will toll?