On this day: British troops near Ypres

The Battle of Passchendaele. British troops photographed 9th August, 1917. Belgium. First World War. By John Warwick Brooke.

This photograph by John Warwick Brooke, dated the 9th of August, 1917, shows British troops involved in the Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) in Belgium. The battle lasted for over three months, from the end of July to November.

Note the camouflage materials on the back of one of the wagons.

On this day: Australia joins the war

A First World War One Australian propaganda poster by Norman Lindsay. Lindsay_quick

A World War One Australian propaganda poster by Norman Lindsay.

On the 4th of August, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. As part of the British Empire, Australia – who had already begun war preparations – immediately became involved in the conflict.

Nearly 422 000 Australians – of a population of less than 5 million – served in the military during the First World War. More than half of them were killed or wounded.

On this day: Troops in France

Unidentified troops travel along the Australian Army route to fighting at Pozières and Mouquet Farm in France. 1st August 1916. The fighting was part of the larger Battle of the Somme.

While the battle was seen as a major victory for the British Empire, Australian troops suffered 23 000 casualties while advancing two only kilometres along this route.

In the background the village of Contalmaison is under German fire.

The image was taken by a British war photographer, and is from the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Road_to_Pozieres_August_1916_(AWM_EZ0084)Somme battlefield road to Pozières 1 August 1916. View north the village of Contalmaison shelled by the Germans. Australian troops I Anzac Corps

On this day: the Battle of the Somme

Wounded British soldiers come in from the advanced dressing station at Bernafay Wood on the 19th of July 1916. The photograph was taken by Ernest Brooks, the British military’s first-ever official war photographer.

The Battle of the Somme ran from July to November of 1916 and claimed well over a million lives, making it one of the worst battles in the history of war.

The_Battle_of_the_Somme,_July-november_1916_Q811Wounded soldiers coming in from the advanced dressing station at Bernafay Wood, 19th July 1916.

The Chilwell Disaster Anniversary

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-__Q30023Women at work during the First World War- Munitions Production, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, c 1917 1918 explosion disaster W

The factory in 1917.

Today is the 101st anniversary of the Chilwell munitions factory explosion, when 134 people were killed and another 250 injured in England during the First World War.

Chilwell became known for its “Canary girls“, women who worked in dangerous conditions constructing TNT shells for the British military. Photographs of the women were used to promote the British war effort.

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-__Q30023Women at work during the First World War- Munitions Production, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, c 1917 1918 explosion disaster W

1917

Eight tons of TNT blew up in the disaster, and the explosion was heard twenty miles away. Because so few victims were identified a mass grave now stands nearby.

The site of the factory became a military installation, which will close in 2021.

100 years ago today: Edith Cavell returns home

Nurse Cavell at Westminster Abbey - After the Armistice her body was brought in state at Westminster Abbey, 15th May 1919.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museums

The body of British nurse Edith Cavell is depicted here being taken to Westminster Abbey in London for a state funeral on the 15th of May, 1919. The image was created by English artist Henry Rushbury.

Cavell, who had helped Allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, was arrested by German authorities and executed by firing squad on the 12th of October, 1915.

Cavell’s killing sparked international outrage, and the incident was used in war propaganda in the years following her death.