On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

It is both poetic and poignant that the armistice signed at 5 am on 11 November 1918 was intended to come into effect six hours later, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The decision was deliberate; but it also meant that fighting in the First World War’s main combat … More On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

Echoes of the guns of August – why we remember the First World War so poignantly

It is 104 years since the First War began, this month – and a century, this year, since it ended. The nations involved in it had all variously been involved in longer wars before. And the main combatants fought a longer war later: the Second World War, which pitted the same major nations against each … More Echoes of the guns of August – why we remember the First World War so poignantly

‘Blowing’ Messines ridge – a century ago today

It’s a century, this June 7, since the British blew up Messines Ridge, part of the front line of the Ypres salient where they had been wedged against the Germans since the end of 1914. The blast involved most of the 1,307,800 pounds of ammonal, dynamite, gun cotton and blasting gelatine TNT, amatol and other explosives … More ‘Blowing’ Messines ridge – a century ago today