Gallery Solace - The Great War 1914-1918
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31st December 1915
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A Necessary War


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February 2015

27th February 1915

26th February 1915

25th February 1915

24th February 1915

23rd February 1915

22nd February 1915

20th February 1915

19th February 1915

18th February 1915

17th February 1915

Sir Herbert Raphael was born in 1859 the second son of Henry Louis Raphael, banker, of Raphaels Bank. A carreer politician he entered the House of Commons in the 1906 general election as MP for South Derbyshire. In 1910 he joined with two other Liberal M.P.s, Charles McCurdy and (Sir) Tudor Walters, and formed Gidea Park Ltd., for the purpose of building a garden suburb on the remainder of the Gidea Hall estate. Now known as Romford Garden Suburb", it was constructed in 1910–11 as an exhibition of town planning. Small cottages and houses were designed by more than 100 architects. A competition was held to select the best town planning scheme for the suburb – the best designs for houses resulted in those sold at a well-above average £500 and cottages at £375. the project included a new railway station.
Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Raphael enlisted as  a private in the 24th Sportsman's Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. For some six months he did duty in the ranks, during which time he was made a lance-corporal. In June 1915 he was granted a commission as a major and raised the 18th (Service) Battalion (Arts & Crafts), the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Recruiting centres were opened in London, Derby, and various places in Yorkshire and the Midlands. Recruits came in fast, and a depot was formed at Gidea Park, Essex, a part of Sir Herbert's estate, where the men were billeted in empty houses. Later in the same year he raised the 23rd (Reserve) Battalion of the regiment from the depot companies of the 18th Battalion, and served in turn as second-in-command of each unit. He left the battalion on 1st May 1916 when he was appointed Assistant Provost Marshal at Folkestone. He did not serve overseas due to his age and survived the Great War, he died suddenly from heart failure while out shooting on his estate in September 1924 aged 64. He had no children, and the baronetcy became extinct on his death.

16th February 1915

15th February 1914

13th February 1915

Charles Rumney Samson joined the Royal Navy in 1898 and was selected as one of the first four Royal Navy officers to receive pilot training and became the first British pilot to take off from a ship in 912, When World War I broke out, Samson took the Eastchurch RNAS Squadron to France, where it supported Allied ground forces along the French and Belgian frontiers, due to a shortage of planes he improvised these patrols by commandeering pilot officers privately owned cars which had been taken to France and armouring them with a machine gun. This was the start of the RNAS Armoured Car Section. Samson's aircraft also bombed the Zeppelin sheds at Düsseldorf and Cologne and by the end of 1914, when mobile warfare on the Western Front ended and trench warfare took its place, his squadron had been awarded four Distinguished Service Orders, among them his own, and he was given a special promotion and the rank of Commander. He spent the next few months bombing gun positions, submarine depots, and seaplane sheds on the Belgian coast. He joined the Dardanelles campaign in March 1915.

Air Commodore Charles Rumney Samson CMG, DSO & Bar, was one of the few pilots who survived the entire duration of the Great War he died of heart failure at his home near Salisbury, Wiltshire on 5 February 1931.

12th February 1915

11th February 1915

10th Februry 1915

9th February 1915

8th February 1915

Good Morning

The bottom half of today’s pictorial paper is the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest pioneering photographers the Australian Frank Hurley. Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was Franks second trip having spent nearly three years on Australian explorer Douglas Mawson Antarctic Expedition. Hurley would be stranded with Shackleton until 1916. In 1917, Hurley joins the Australian Imperial Force taking considerable risks to photograph the Third Battle of Ypres. It was his commitment "to illustrate to the public the things our fellows do and how war is conducted" that brought his work into conflict with the AIF and being labelled as fake by many war historians. Frank Hurley was an artist and his technique of stacking negatives to create a composite image is just as valid as any painters. His work is of such brilliance it will survive the test of time, and yes I am a fan.

6th February 1915

5th February 1915

4th February 1915

Today Germany will announce its first sustained U-boat (submarine) campaign against merchant and passenger ships approaching Britain. Ships will be sunk without warning, including neutral vessels. this willContinue until September:

Sligsby Baby Case: 
The Sligsby baby case so intrigued a nation that its verdict made the front page. The basic premise to the case was on the death of Rev. Charles Slingsby the bulk of the ancient estate around Knaresborough  was left to Lieutenant Charles Henry Raymond Slingsby and the remainder was to go to Lieutenant Slingsby’s son Teddy, this was challenged by Charles younger brother who contested that Teddy was a substitute for his real son who was stillborn and that while the couple were in San Francisco they had put an advert in the ‘’San Francisco Examiner'’ for a child to adopt, although this was denied. Justice Bargrave Deane who was presiding over the legal proceedings called upon the services of Sir George Frampton (a famous sculptor) who noticed a peculiarity about the boy's ear that was shared by Mrs. Slingsby, and claimed that a child could not have this peculiarity unless it was congenital. No DNA back in the day!, The Judge found in favour of Charles Henry Raymond Slingsby.

3rd February 1915


278 men are lost to the sea when the armed merchant cruiser H.M.S. Clan MacNaughton goes missing off the north coast of Ireland. A pre-war merchant ship requisitioned in November 1914 whose disappearance created controversy at the time and conspiracy theories ever since. Officially listed as lost due to hitting a mine, questions were raised at the time of Clan MacNaughton seaworthiness; the alterations to her superstructure making her top heavy and liable to founder was refuted in an admiralty report presented to parliament. 60 of the ships company nearly a quarter of her crew were young lads agedbetween 16 and 18.

2nd February 1915

2 FEB 15 newspapers of the Great War7 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War

U21 was under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant) Otto Hersing, who in Septemper 1914 torpedoed and sank the British cruiser HMS Pathfinder the first warship to be sunk by a German U-boat during the Great War. Hersing and U21 came to prominence in late January 1915 after having shelled the airfield on Walney Island, scuttled the collier SS Ben Cruachan and sank the steamers SS Linda Blanche and SS Kilcuan, all within a forty eight hour period. Otto Hersing survived the Great War.

1st February 1915

8 jan dt 15 newspapers of the Great War1 FEB 15 newspapers of the Great War

On the 31st January the Germans launched an audacious attack capturing British trenches at Cuinchy, which were being held by the Coldstream guards. On the 1st February a counter attack was proposed to retake the trenches so that the broken line could be re-established. After the initial British bombardment of the Trenches the Coldstream Guards charged the position being met with fierce resistance, they were supplemented by a second wave of attack by the Irish Guards. Step forward Lance-Corporal Michael O’Leary who on his own initiative was attacking a machine gun post which He knew would have been dismantled during the bombardment to save from being destroyed, and that it was a matter of life and death to perhaps hundreds that it was eliminated before it could be redeployed. Having reached the corner of the German trench he accounted for five German defenders but still had over eighty yards to cover in order to reach the machine gun mound, “. At every moment he expected to hear the sharp burr of the gun in action. A patch of boggy ground prevented a direct approach to the barricade, and it was with veritable anguish that he realized the necessity of a detour by the railway line. Quick as thought he was off again. A few seconds passed, and then the Germans, working feverishly to remount their machine gun and bring it into action against the oncoming Irish, perceived the figure of fate in the shape of Lance-Corporal O’Leary, a few yards away on their right with his rifle levelled at them.
O'Leary newspapers of the Great WarThe officer in charge had no time to realize that his finger was on the button before death squared his account. Two other reports followed in quick succession and two other figures fell to the ground with barely a sound. The two survivors had no mind to test O’Leary’s shooting powers further and threw up their hands. With his two captives before him the gallant Irishman returned in triumph”

For his actions he was promoted to sergeant before the day was over and was award the Victoria Cross.