8 Memorials to Animals in the First World War

The First World War saw the development of industrialised mechanised warfare – machine guns, tanks, and aeroplanes.  In addition to this modern technology, millions of animals were used both in warfare and on the home front. They died in their hundreds of thousands. An estimated six million horses and mules were engaged by the combatants.  They hauled food, equipment, ammunition and other supplies for the troops.  Tens of thousands of horses and camels were used by cavalry units. Messenger pigeonsRead more

Britain on the Brink of Starvation: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

One hundred years ago today on 1 February 1917, Germany resumed its policy of ‘unrestricted submarine warfare.’  The seas around the British Isles were declared a war zone in which fishing vessels and unarmed merchant vessels, carrying essential items such as foodstuffs, coal and iron ore, would be attacked without warning by German U-boats. Featured image: UB106 on rocks Falmouth 1921 © Historic England/ Patrick Casement [see footnote 1] Prior to this a U-boat would surface, search a vessel, give theRead more

The Silvertown Tragedy: Explosion on the Home Front

100 years ago today, on 19th January 1917 at 6.52pm, a catastrophic explosion at the Brunner Mond and Company’s high explosive TNT factory in Silvertown, East London killed 73 people and injured hundreds. Most were local residents, including children and babies. The force of the explosion was tremendous.  Streets of houses were flattened. Across the river from Silvertown, on the Greenwich Peninsula at a gas works, now the site of the O2 Arena, one of the gas holders exploded. UpRead more