Search

WW100

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The First World War’s bloodiest battle is to be commemorated by communities across Redbridge tomorrow.

July 1 1916 will forever be immortalised as one of the darkest days in the history of the British Army.

The cruelties of war all too often extend to the streets of the battling nations, with families, homes and livelihoods torn apart by the undiscriminating nature of conflict.

The outbreak of the First World War heralded a wave of patriotic fervour in summer 1914, with Britain’s men, young and old, smelling the sweet scent of adventure, with the dash of danger they craved.

Rubble and ash coat cobbled streets, the ghosts of war all too present in a grey landscape where life as it was known has died.

In July 1915, 100 years ago, my father went to Holborn and enlisted in the British Army.

The pilots who battled to defend London’s streets from the feared German Zeppelins were remembered at a commemorative ceremony.

Rifle fire pierced the air as sergeants Alfred Cleall and Charles Gibbs set upon the oncoming German troops, ammunition fast exchanging from their comrades’ hands to theirs.

The pilots who risked and gave their lives battling the Zeppelins which unleashed terror on London’s streets are to be remembered 100 years on.

Commemorations for the centenary of the First World War continue this year and the Recorder would love to hear your stories.

A curtain was drawn on an era when 111-year-old Harry Patch drew his last breath in 2009.

The stories of the hundreds of Belgian refugees who settled in the borough during the Great War are set to be told.

As a former history student and the co-ordinator of my team’s First World War centenary coverage, I jumped at the chance to go on the tour.

After visiting eight cemeteries and memorials, one museum and a commemorative workshop, our tour came to an end.

On July 1 1916, thousands of soldiers walked across to German lines on the Western Front and began their assaults, confident their enemy had been weakened by a week-long bombardment of 1.6 million shells.

The fate of British deserters and the stories which lie behind every war grave were among topics considered by the students yesterday.

Sixteen million deaths, 20 million wounded, six million missing. These are the cold, stark facts of the Great War, the world’s first truly modern conflict.

Peter Hodges stands proudly next to the bike - now entwined with flowers - his father made and rode until he was 93 at a church flower festival.

The “lost generation” of the First World War, who sacrificed life and limb in the trenches, are the focus of a new play.

The sacrifices of the soldiers of the First World War were captured in moving photographs taken around the borough this week.

Police officers are today set to rally together to remember their predecessors who lost their lives in the First World War.

Walking wounded trudge along a barren landscape for miles, feeling the absence of the thick army jackets which have been taken from them and the icy chill of winter drawing ever closer.

The “war to end all wars” is set to be commemorated through events being held this weekend.

Residents and organisations are encouraged to help mark the First World War centenary.

The “war to end all wars” is set to be commemorated through a series of events this summer.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now