May 1940

May 1940 General Maurice Gamelin, Commander in Chief of the French Army, reviews Canadian troops at Aldershot, England shortly before the Dunkirk evacuation. Second world War Two

May 1940: General Maurice Gamelin, Commander in Chief of the French Army, reviews Canadian troops at Aldershot, England shortly before the Dunkirk evacuation.

Second World War.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

On this day: Frenchwomen finally vote

After decades of campaigning, the women of France voted for the first time on the 29th of April, 1945, when municipal elections were held. Legislation for women’s suffrage had been passed in October the year before.

While late, France wasn’t the last European country to grant women the vote. Women’s suffrage came even later in Italy, Greece, San Marino, Monaco, Andorra and Switzerland. Liechtenstein was the last to adopt equal voting rights – only in 1984.

This image from May of 1935 is of French suffragette Louise Weiss demonstrating alongside women holding papers saying The Frenchwoman Must Vote.

Suffragettes in France demonstrate in May of 1935. French women didn't win the vote until the mid-1940s. Louise Weiss along with other suffragettes in 1935. The bold text on the newspape

Christmas on the Western Front

British troops eat Christmas dinner in a shell hole in Beaumont Hamel, France on the 25th of December, 1916. The commune was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of the Somme that took place that year.

Source

Christmas_on_the_Western_Front,_1914-1918_Q1630British troops eating their Christmas dinner in a shell hole, Beaumont Hamel, 25th December 1916. First World War One

On this day: British troops at war

The_Battle_of_Cambrai,_November-december_1917_Q6312Men of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) salvaging German rifles near Marcoing, 22 November 1917. First Wo

Photograph by John Warwick Brooke

Men of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) with German rifles salvaged near Marcoing on the 22nd of November, 1917. First World War.

The photograph was taken during the First Battle of Cambrai in France.

The Sherwood Foresters were an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1970.

On this day…

A Mark IV (Male) tank ditched in a German trench while supporting the 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, one mile west of Ribecourt. Some men of the battalion are resting in the tre

Source

20th November 1917: A British tank ditched in a German trench. British soldiers stand nearby. The photograph was taken just outside Ribecourt, France. First World War.

On this day: a film premiere in 1900

 Embarquement_d'un_bœuf,_Gabriel_VeyreEarly French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre premiered (Through Indochina (1st series). Bull being loaded on a ship) in Lyon on the 18th of November.

Source

Early French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre premiered À travers l’Indochine (1° série). Embarquement d’un boeuf à bord d’un navire (Through Indochina (1st series). Bull being loaded on a ship) in Lyon.

It was part of a series recorded in Tonkin (present-day Vietnam) between 1899 and 1900.

On this day: Australian troops in France

Troops of the Australian 7th Brigade (Australian 2nd Division) pass the former German bunker known as “Gibraltar” in Pozières, France on the 28th of August, 1916.

The Battle of Pozières was part of the larger Battle of the Somme, which claimed around a million casualties. Pozières marked a victory against the German Empire for Australia, with the help of British troops. First World War.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Gibraltar_bunker_Pozieres_(AWM_EZ0098)Australian 7th Brigade (Australian 2nd Division) pass former German bunker known as Gibraltar western end of Pozières 28 August 1916 during the Bat

On this day: Images from the Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in recorded history, was fought between July and November, 1916 as part of the First World War. The armies of Britain, France, and their empires fought the German Empire.

These images by famed British war photographer Ernest Brooks are dated the 10th of August.

King George V inspecting a German dug-out near Fricourt, 10th August 1916.

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The_Battle_of_the_Somme,_July-november_1916_Q970King George V inspecting a German dug-out near Fricourt, 10th August 1916.

Captured 15 cm (150 mm) Ringkanone 92 German gun near Mametz Wood, 10th August 1916.

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The_Battle_of_the_Somme,_July-november_1916_Q1044

German observation post in Trones Wood.

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The_Battle_of_the_Somme,_July-november_1916_Q862German observation post in Trones Wood, 10th August 1916. The Battle of the Somme. Ernest Brooks.

The Royal cars passing through a village on the journey from Chateau Bryas to Franvillers, passing a battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment on the march.

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The_Battle_of_the_Somme,_July-november_1916_Q952The Royal cars pass through a village from Chateau Bryas to Franvillers, passing a battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment on the march,

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

The Dancing Plague of July 1518

Die_Wallfahrt_der_Fallsuechtigen_nach_MeulebeeckEngraving of Hendrik Hondius portrays three women affected by the dancing plague

An engraving by Hendrik Hondius portrays a similar outbreak in the 1560s.

In July of 1518, dancing mania – a phenomenon that occurred across Europe for several centuries – hit Strasbourg, Alsace (France). Approximately four-hundred people danced themselves to exhaustion, and even to their deaths.

The plague began when a woman named Mrs Troffea began to dance in the street.

At the time, it was decided that the people could be cured with more dancing, and so musicians were hired to encourage them – which resulted in more deaths.

One modern-day theory suggest that consumption of fungi containing psychoactive chemicals (similar to LSD) was to blame. Mass hysteria has also been suggested.