Christmas Day During Wartime

Christmas_day_football_WWI_1915Officers and men of 26th Divisional Ammunition Train playing football in Salonika, Greece on Christmas day 1915. 25th December 1915 British

From the collection of the Imperial War Museums.

British officers and men stationed in Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece play football on the 25th of December, 1915. First World War.

100 Years Ago: Britain’s Deadliest Explosion

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-_Munitions_Production,_Chilwell,_Nottinghamshire,_England,_UK,_c_1917_Q30011A Around 21 August, 1917

The factory in August of 1917.

On the 1st of July, 1918, the deadliest explosion in British history occurred near Chilwell in Nottinghamshire, England.

The disaster happened at National Filling Factory No. 6, a First World War munitions factory that had been in operation since 1915. The factory was known for its “Canary girls“: women shell makers.

Female munitions workers guide 6 inch howitzer shells being lowered to the floor at the Chilwell ammunition factory in Nottinghamshire, UK. July 1917.

“Canary Girls”

On the day of the disaster eight tons of TNT blew up, killing 134 people and injuring 250 others, however newspapers at the time reported a much lower death toll.

The site of the factory is now home to Chetwynd Barracks.

On this day: Lord Kitchener reviews troops

Field Marshal Lord Kitchener reviewing 10th (Irish) Division at Basingstoke 1st June 1915. End of June received orders to depart from Hampshire for Gallipoli. First World War One.

1st June 1915: Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener – the famous Lord Kitchener of the World War One recruitment poster – is seen here reviewing the 10th (Irish) Division in Basingstoke, England.

Later that month the troops received their orders to depart for the infamous Gallipoli Campaign.

Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener - the famous Lord Kitchener of the World War One recruitment poster. British.

Kitchener was killed by a German mine the following year, while travelling to Russia aboard the HMS Hampshire.

On this day: a truce is called

This image, taken on the 24th of May, 1915, shows Australian and Turkish troops collecting the dead after a nine-hour truce was called at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

After an attack from the Turks five days earlier that left more than 3000 dead, the stench became so strong both sides agreed to remove the bodies.

The fighting in Turkey came to be commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as Anzac Day on the 25th of April each year.

Anzac_truce_24_May_1915 Scene in no man's land at Anzac during the truce of 24 May 1915, organised to bury the Turkish dead from the attack of 19 May, in which an estimated 3,000 men wer

On this day: the death of a soldier

Light_horse_walersAustralian Imperial Force prior to their departure from Australia in November 1914. right is Trooper William Harry Rankin Woods, 1st Light Horse Regiment, who died of w

Trooper William Harry Rankin

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The Australian Imperial Force, the Australian Army’s expeditionary force in the First World War, was formed in August of 1914. The mounted Australian Light Horse made up part of this force.

This photograph was taken in November, 1914. The troops – both lighthorsemen – would soon leave Australia to fight.

Trooper William Harry Rankin is pictured on the right. He would go on to fight at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire, where he was killed on the 15th of May, 1915.

Rankin, from the New South Wales town of Mudgee, was thirty-nine at the time of his death.

On this day: Australian Soldiers in Egypt

Group portrait of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force posing on the Great Pyramid of Giza on 10 January 1915, prior to the

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10th January 1915: Members of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force pose for a group photograph on the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The Australians did a lot of their training in the country.

In April of the same year they would take part in the infamous landings at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). 378 men in this battalion were amongst the 26 111 Australian casualties, which included 8141 deaths.