THE WAR TO END ALL WARS
‘The Women’s Peace Crusade’ swept across Britain from 1916 to 1918. Film of it was shot in 1917 and told the story of the north west women who took part in its gatherings in Manchester, Blackburn, Oldham and Nelson.
100 years ago the government had been encouraging children to assist in the war effort by collecting horse chestnuts (used in making munitions) and blackberries (to make jam for the soldiers).
By 1917 shortages of cloth saw patched clothing being increasingly worn by the middle classes.
In 1917 the soon-to-become-famous Dick Kerr Ladies football team was formed by munitions workers. A crowd of 10,000 turned out to watch them play at Deepdale on Christmas Day.
8th November, 1917, saw the last cavalry charge with swords drawn; this was at Huj during the Sinai and Palestine campaign.
November 1917 saw the British government publish the Balfour Declaration, promising to promote the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Problems it engendered are still being felt to this day.
On 11th December, 1917, General Allenby walked into Jerusalem at the conclusion of a 40 day whirlwind campaign in Palestine.
The Museum of the Cambrai Tank opened recently at Flesquieres. It features Deborah D51, a tank lost on the first day of the battle there and which was only unearthed in 1998, along with the remains of five members of her crew.
On Saturday, 11th November this year, for the England v Germany football match, both sets of players wore red poppies on black armbands as a sign of respect, tolerance and humanity. FIFA had ruled that our home nations may now wear a poppy if opposing teams and competition organisers agree to it. The members of the German team did better than that: they wore poppies too, even though it is not their flower of remembrance.