Gallery Solace - The Great War 1914-1918
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

31st December 1915
30th December 1915
29th December 1915
28th December 1915
27th December 1915


A Necessary War


January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
May 2014
January 2014

powered by



17th March 1915

16th March 1915

15th March 1915

14th March 1915

HMS Amethyst was today one hundred years ago hit by field artillery while involved in the Dardanelles Campaign. 22 members of the ships company were killed in the action, four more would succumb to their injuries later. George James Todd Captain of the Amethyst was mentioned in Naval Dispatch. “.....I desire also to bring to their Lordships’ notice the name of Commander G.J.Todd, “Amethyst.”

“Amethyst” was hit several times by large projectiles, and had her steering gear and engine-room telegraphs put out of action. Arrangements were quickly made to man the hand-steering wheel, and improvise engine-room communications. Both during and after the action Commander Todd was very ably assisted by Lieutenant James C.J. Soutter, Senior Lieutenant of “Amethyst,” who was indefatigable in his efforts."

13th March 1915

The BEF’s first independent offensive of the Great War on the Western Front the Battle of Neuve Chapelle is over. The press will hail the campaign a stunning success, decades later historians will regard it as a failure, as it didn’t achieve it’s over optimistic objectives. The reality though is this is modern twentieth century warfare, dirty, bloody and costly and the sum of all its parts will equal the final outcome. For Britain the casualties numbered nearly 11,000 killed, wounded, or missing, included in that number Corporal Noble whose actions on the 12 of March would be acknowledge by awarding him the Victoria Cross who would die on the 13th of the wounds he sustained.

12thMarch 1915

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle  Continues, as hopes are raised of a major breakthrough.  Private William Buckingham’s action in aiding British and German casualties while under heavy fire and despite is own injuries is awarded the Victoria Cross. Corporal William Anderson repelled a major counter attack and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. Private Edward Barber played a significant role in capturing a German trench and is awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. Sargeant-Major Harry Daniels and Corporal Cecil Noble each was awarded the Victoria Cross for their actions in attempting to cut trench wire while under heavy fire. Captain Charles Foss led a bombing party that led to the retaking of a German trench and over 140 prisoners was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. Lance-Corporal Wilfred Fuller attacked a group of German soldiers and for his actions was awarded the Victoria Cross.  Lieutenant Cyril Martin for his efforts in holding up German reinforcements was awarded the Victoria Cross. Private Jacob Rivers in attacking German positions was awarded theVictoria Cross

11th March 1915

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle rages on with a further 700 plus British lives lost. HMS.Bayano is sunk by the German Submarine U27

10th March 1915

The first major set piece participation of the BEF begins at Neuve Chapelle. At 7.30 (local time) The British unleash a thirty minute bombardment by 340 mixed calibre artillery pieces. British and Indian troops overwhelm elements of the single German sixth army division in residence. In less than four hours the village of Neuve Chapelle was largely in British hands.Rifleman Gobar Sing Negi would be awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.  
British forces suffer over 1,000 killed in action

9th March 1915

8th March 1915

6th March 1915

5th March 1915

4th March 1915

3rd March 1915

2nd March 1915

1st March 1915

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.

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.