Would you have welcomed an Aussie to your home in 1918?

When the war broke out in 1914, the echoes carried to all corners of the British Empire, and the call brought forth an extraordinary display of solidarity. Soldiers from as far away as Canada, New Zealand and Australia signed up to help in the war effort having been brought up with a strong sense of loyalty and obligation to the Empire. Of course fighting so far way from home, meant that soldiers who were lucky enough to get some leave had nowhere to go, so the British people were called…

Why do the British love to Queue?

I really like this advertisement to encourage people to queue in an orderly fashion for the trains and buses. It is no wonder that the Brits are know for being such great ‘queuers’, it seems our grandparents and great-grandparents have been conditioned to do so after adverts like this appearing in local newspapers. Though, these days, at times, we do like to break the queue, especially in the rush hour and at the supermarket check out (more difficult).

Conscription Introduced

As the number of volunteers coming forward dwindled, conscription (the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service) was introduced. Many men tried to avoid conscription and went before the military tribunals. Others took matters into their own hands and ignored the papers and ‘disappeared.’ Lists of those who had not taken themselves to join the forces appeared fairly regularly. The numbers of men increased as the war continued. Some were found: many weren’t

Red Cross Animals

One of the four-footed friends of the French soldiers approaching a wounded man with a bandage in its mouth. Like the famous St Bernard, these Red Cross animals have proved of infinite benefit to wounded and suffering humanity Sourced from the The War Illustrated, 31st October 1914

A British soldier with two canaries that he had rescued from a shell-struck house in France, the only living things found amid the ruins. I wonder what happened to them after the war? The War Illustrated, 1st June 1918 pg 282

French Army dog masked ready to take a message through a gassed area   The War Illustrated, 1st June 1918, pg 282

Excitement at Naval Balloon

  Some excitement was caused on Saturday afternoon last, when a Naval balloon with one occupant made a descent in a field at Woollett Hall Farm, North Cray. The pilot found many willing hands, and the balloon was soon packed up and taken to Bexley Station.   Unfortunately this little item does not describe the balloon.  However, this rounded British observation balloon from 1908, was typical of pre-WWI observation balloons.   Extract from the Bromley & District Times, 21st September 1917, pg 5   A different type of air balloon…