World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
The Canadian Corps was a World War I corps formed from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Canadian Division in France. The corps was expanded by the addition of the 3rd Canadian Division in December 1915 and the 4th Canadian Division in August 1916; the organization of a 5th Canadian Division began in February 1917 but it was still not formed when it was broken up in February 1918 and its men used to reinforce the other four divisions. The majority of soldiers of the Canadian Corps were British-born until near the end of the war, when the number of those of Canadian birth who had enlisted rose to 51 percent, they were volunteers, as conscription was not implemented until the end of the war. Only 24,132 conscripts made it to France before 11 November 1918. In the stages of the war the Canadian Corps was regarded by friend and foe alike as one of the most effective Allied military formations on the Western Front along with the First Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
Although the corps was within and under the command of the British Expeditionary Force, there was considerable political pressure in Canada following the Battle of the Somme, in 1916, to have the corps fight as a single unit rather than have the divisions spread out through the whole army. The corps was commanded by Lieutenant General Sir E. A. H. Alderson, until 1916. Political considerations caused command to be passed to Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng; when Byng was promoted to a higher command during the summer of 1917, he was succeeded by General Sir Arthur Currie, the commander of the 1st Division, giving the corps its first Canadian commander. Currie was able to reconcile the desire for national independence with the need for Allied integration, he resisted pressure to replace all British officers in high-ranking positions, retaining those who were successful until they could be replaced by trained and experienced Canadians. British staff officers made up a considerable part of the Corps – although by 1917, 7 of 12 infantry brigades were commanded by Canadians trained during the war, British regulars were the staff officers of the divisions and British officers held two-thirds of senior appointments across the infantry and Corps headquarters with only four of the most senior appointments being Canadian.
Among the British officers were William Ironside. Both held the position of Chief of the Imperial General Staff; the Canadian Corps captured Vimy Ridge in April, 1917, in a daring attack, a turning point in the war, as Currie called it, "the grandest day the Corps had". During the German Spring Offensive of the spring and summer of 1918, the Canadian Corps supported British and French soldiers while they held the Germans back. Between August 8 and 11, 1918, the corps spearheaded the offensive during the Battle of Amiens. Here a significant defeat was inflicted on the Germans, causing the German commander-in-chief, General Erich Ludendorff, to call August 8 "the black day of the German army." This battle marked the start of the period of the war referred to as "Canada's Hundred Days". After Amiens, the Canadian Corps continued to lead the vanguard of an Allied push that ended on 11 November 1918 at Mons where the British Empire had first met in conflict with Imperial German forces in 1914. At the end of war the Canadian 1st and 2nd Divisions took part in the occupation of Germany and the corps was demobilized in 1919.
Upon their return home the veterans were greeted by large and welcoming crowds all across the country. Total fatal battle casualties during the war was 56,638, 13.5% of the 418,052 sent overseas and 9.26% of the 611,711 who enlisted. Following its formation in late 1915, the Canadian Corps readied to fight major battles as a unified entity, beginning in 1916. Additional actions were fought by one or more units of the corps. Major battles fought by the corps were the following: Battle of Mount Sorrel: June 2–13 Battle of Flers-Courcelette: September 15–22 Battle of Morval: September 25 Battle of Thiepval Ridge: September 26–28 Battle of Le Transloy: October 1–18 Battle of the Ancre Heights: October 1 – November 11 Battle of Vimy Ridge: April 9–12 Battle of Arras: April 9 – May 16, 1917 Battle of Arleux: April 28–29 Third Battle of the Scarpe: May 3–4 Battle of Hill 70: August 15–25 Second Battle of Passchendaele: October 26 – November 10 Battle of Cambrai: November 20 – December 3 Battle of Amiens: August 8–11 Second Battle of the Somme: August 21 – September 2 Battle of the Canal du Nord: September 27 – October 1 Battle of Cambrai: October 8–9 The military effectiveness of the corps has been extensively analyzed.
The corps evolved following the 1915 summer campaign. As Godefroy notes, the Canadian Expeditionary Force "worked ceaselessly to convert all of its available political and physical resources into fighting power." One striking feature of the corps' evolution was its ability to exploit all opportunities for learning. This was a corps-wide activity; this ability to learn from allied successes and mistakes made the corps successful. Doctrine was tested in limited engagements and, if proven effectual, developed for larger scale battles. Following each engagement, lessons were recorded and disseminated to all units. Doctrine and tactics that were ineffective or cost too many lives were discarded and new methods developed; this l
Villers–Bretonneux Australian National Memorial
The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is the main memorial to Australian military personnel killed on the Western Front during World War I. It is located on the Route Villiers-Bretonneux, between the towns of Fouilloy and Villers-Bretonneux, in the Somme département, France; the memorial lists 10,773 names of soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force with no known grave who were killed between 1916, when Australian forces arrived in France and Belgium, the end of the war. The location was chosen to commemorate the role played by Australian soldiers in the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the memorial consists of a tower within the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, which includes a Cross of Sacrifice; the tower is surrounded by panels on which the names of the missing dead are listed. The main inscription is on either side of the entrance to the tower; the memorial and cemetery are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Following the war, the commander of the Australian Corps, Lieutenant General Sir Talbot Hobbs chose the sites of several Australian memorials in Europe and proposed that a memorial to all of the Australian dead on the Western Front be built in France, in the Villers-Bretonneux area.
The proposal was approved by the Australian government – still led by wartime Prime Minister Billy Hughes – in 1923. A competition to design the memorial was held in 1925, it was open only to their parents. The competition was won by the Melbourne architect William Lucas. In 1929, the French government gave its approval to the project; the Scullin government suspended the project in 1930, due to the Great Depression and the projected cost, as well as dissatisfaction with aesthetic elements of Lucas's design. Following a 1935 visit to Australia by the head of the Imperial War Graves Commission, Sir Fabian Ware, a cheaper design was sought, using French stone, from Sir Edwin Lutyens. Construction of the memorial took place in 1936 and 1937, it was unveiled on 22 July 1938 by King George VI. Other dignitaries present included the French President Albert Lebrun, who gave a speech, the Australian deputy prime minister Earle Page. Accompanying the King was his wife Queen Elizabeth, whose brother was killed at the Battle of Loos.
This memorial was the last of the great memorials to the missing of World War I to be built, the Second World War broke out just over a year after its unveiling. During the unveiling ceremony, the King closed his speech with the words: "They rest in peace, while over them all Australia's tower keeps watch and ward."Every year on 25 April, an Anzac Day Dawn Service is conducted at the memorial by the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The service commences at 5.30am and is followed by community services in Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt. The cemetery included 60 hornbeam trees, planted in 1928; these were removed in 2009 as they reached the end of their lives, were replaced by new trees as part of plans for the centenary commemorations in 2018. The Sir John Monash Centre, an interpretive centre behind the Villers–Bretonneux Australian National Memorial, opened in April 2018. Private Thomas Cooke – New Zealand-born Australian Army VC recipient. Commonwealth War Graves Commission details of the Villers–Bretonneux Memorial Villers–Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial – history and description of the memorial and pictures of the unveiling ceremony and of details of the memorial British-Pathé Newsreel report that includes the unveiling of the memorial, unveiling is at 2:14 to 2:51 Australian National War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France – book by Lucas on his rejected plans for the memorial Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux
War memorials (Western Somme)
The Monuments aux Morts of the Western Somme are French war memorials commemorating those who died in World War I. In the Western part of the Somme region, in the area around Abbeville, there are many such memorials and some of these are identified and described below as are the sculptors, marbriers or foundries who worked on them. World War I memorials War memorials War memorials War memorials Sites of Memory A National Archives article giving more information on the Butte de Chalmont Louis-Henri Leclabart -Information on Louis-Henri Leclabart Website for Andre Abbal museum in Carbonne Andre Abbal Museum Paul Landowski Museum Information on Paul Landowski museum in Paris. Source of information on monuments aux morts Paul Landowski Museum
The Dury Memorial is a World War I Canadian war memorial that commemorates the actions of the Canadian Corps in the Second Battle of Arras their breakthrough at the Drocourt–Quéant Line switch of the Hindenburg Line just south of the town of Dury. The Drocourt–Quéant Line was a main position in the German Army's defensive position in the area; the action took place on 2 and 3 September 1918 during a period known as the Hundred Days Offensive or Canada's Hundred Days. Noteworthy for such a brief battle was that seven Canadians earned a Victoria Cross on 2 September during the battle; the Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission established after the Great War was appointed to select the location and design of the memorials to commemorate the Canadian participation in the First World War. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge was selected as the national memorial site and seven other locations at Hill 62, St. Julien and Passchendaele in Belgium, as well as Le Quesnel, Dury and Bourlon Wood in France were chosen to commemorate significant battles the Canadian Expeditionary Force had engaged in.
Each of the seven sites were to have an identical granite block inscribed with a brief description of the battle in both English and French. At Dury, the memorial is situated symbolically where the Drocourt–Quéant Line crossed the Arras–Cambrai Road; the Dury Memorial site is a small square park located on the north side of the D939 Route Nationale, south of Dury, between the cities of Arras and Cambrai. Tall, stately maple trees line three edges of the park and well kept lawns surround the low circular flagstone terrace that the granite memorial block rests on. Dury Memorial – Veteran's Affairs Canada Wikimapia satellite image of Dury Memorial site
Saint Julien Memorial
The St. Julien Memorial is a Canadian war memorial and small commemorative park located in the village of Saint-Julien, Belgium; the memorial commemorates the Canadian First Division's participation in the Second Battle of Ypres of World War I which included fighting in the face of the first poison gas attacks along the Western Front. Frederick Chapman Clemesha's sculpture, the Brooding Soldier, was selected to serve as the central feature of the monument following a design competition organized by the Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission in 1920; the village of Saint Julien and a section of forested land called Saint Julien Wood was at a pronounced bend in the north east sector of the Ypres Salient prior to the Second Battle of Ypres. The area was the junction between the British and French sectors of responsibility; the Canadian First Division was assigned the most northern section of the British line and to their left, the 45th Division held the southernmost end of the French line. The German Army had brought forward 168 tons of chlorine gas deployed in 5,730 cylinders buried in front of their trenches, opposite Langemark-Poelkapelle, north of Ypres.
The Canadians, moved into their positions only a few days earlier were manning the lines for several hundred metres along a front to the southwest of St. Julien when the German Army unleashed the first poison gas attack on the Western Front on 22 April 1915. Pushed towards the Allied lines by a wind from the north, the initial gas attack drifted to the north and west of the Canadian lines, into the trenches of the French colonial troops of the French 45th and 87th Divisions, of 26th Reserve Corps; the gas drifted across positions held French colonial troops who broke ranks and abandoned their trenches after witnessing the early casualties, creating an 8,000 yard gap in the Allied line. The German infantry were wary of the gas and, lacking reinforcements, failed to exploit the break before the First Canadian Division and assorted French troops reformed the line in scattered, hastily prepared positions 1,000 to 3,000 yards apart. In actions at Kitcheners Wood, Mauser Ridge, Pilkem Ridge and Gravenstafel Ridge the Canadians held the line and prevented a German breakthrough until they were relieved by reinforcements on the 24 April.
In the 48 crucial hours that they held the line, 6,035 Canadians - or one man in every three who went into battle - became casualties. At the end of the war, The Imperial War Graves Commission granted Canada eight sites - five in France and three in Belgium - on which to erect memorials; each site represented a significant Canadian engagement in the war and for this reason it was decided that each battlefield would be treated and graced with identical monuments. The Canadian Battlefields Memorials Commission was formed in November 1920 and decided a competition would be held to select the design of the memorial that would be used at the eight European sites. In October 1922, the submission of Toronto sculptor and designer Walter Seymour Allward was selected as the winner of the competition, the submission of Frederick Chapman Clemesha placed second; the commission decided Allward's monumental design would be used at Vimy Ridge in France as it was the most dramatic location. Clemesha's'Brooding Soldier' design was selected for the remaining sites but was for a number of reasons, erected only at Saint Julien in Belgium.
The remaining six sites at Passchendaele, Hill 62 in Belgium and Le Quesnel, Dury and Bourlon Wood in France each received an identical Canadian granite block memorial marker, differentiated only with brief inscriptions that describe the battle they commemorate in English and French on their sides. The blocks are situated in small parks that vary in shape and design and are situated on key points of the battlefield they memorialize; the memorial at Saint Julien was unveiled on 8 July 1923 by Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught and the tribute was made by French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, former Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers on the Western Front. In his address, Foch stated, they wrote here the first page in that Book of Glory, the history of their participation in the war." After their completion in the mid-1920s, the sites became links in a chain of memorials that included 900+ Commonwealth cemeteries, making a road of remembrance or via dolorosa. The memorial is found on the northern fringe of the village of Saint Julien at the intersection of the N313 road and Zonnebekestraat.
During the war, the location where the memorial is located was known as Vancouver Corner. Visible for miles around, the memorial stands 11 metres tall. The'Brooding Soldier' column rises from a low circular flagstone terrace and is sculpted at its top to form the bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier; the soldier's hands resting are on the butt of his down-turned rifle in the'arms reversed' position, a pose used as gesture of mourning and respect for the fallen performed at funerals and services of remembrance. Surrounding the column and central terrace are gardens of tall cedars trimmed into the shape of artillery shells and low cut cedars trimmed to look like shell explosions; some of the soil that nourishes the gardens of the memorial was brought from various locations from across Canada to represent the broad spectrum of Canadian men who fought shoulder to shoulder on the battlefields of 1915. A replica of Clemesha's St-Julien monument was incorporated into
Walter Seymour Allward
Walter Seymour Allward, was a Canadian monumental sculptor best known for the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. He has been praised for his "original sense of spatial composition, his mastery of the classical form and his brilliant craftsmanship". Allward's 1917 heroic monument, the Bell Telephone Memorial, has been seen as the finest example of his early works, it brought the sculptor to fame and led to Allward creating the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, his most renowned work. Some of the sculptor's works have been acquired by the National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada. Allward has been described as "probably Canada's most important monumental sculptor in the first third of century". Allward was born in the son of John A. Allward of Newfoundland. Educated in Toronto public schools, his first job was at the age of 14 as an assistant to his carpenter father. Allward first served an apprenticeship with the architectural firm Gibson and Simpson before working at the Don Valley Brick Works, where he modelled architectural ornaments.
There he showed skill in clay mold making. This early training, supplemented by modelling classes at the New Technical School, prepared Allward for his lifelong career as a monumental sculptor. Allward's first commission was for the figure of Peace on the Memorial of the Battles in the North-West in Queen's Park, Toronto. Other early works included a life-sized figure of Dr Oronhyatekha commissioned by the Independent Order of Foresters for the opening of the Temple Building in Toronto, the Old Soldier, commemorating the War of 1812 in Toronto's Portland Square. In 1903, Alas elected an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy and in 1918 became a full academician. Now well established he received commissions to do busts of Lord Tennyson, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and others. On the grounds of Queen's Park are statues of General John Graves Simcoe and Sir Oliver Mowat, completed in 1903 and 1905 respectively. Allward's true talent lay in his heroic monuments; these included the design work for the Boer War Memorial Fountain in Windsor, the South African War Memorial in Toronto, The Baldwin-Lafontaine Monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the Bell Memorial commemorating Alexander Graham Bell's invention of telephone in Brantford, Ontario.
Allward had completed design work on a memorial to King Edward VII but the onset of the World War I prevented its completion. The figures of Veritas and Iustitia were cast in bronze for the memorial, they were found in their crates in 1969 buried under a parking lot, in 1970 were installed outside the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. Allward designed numerous municipal cenotaphs around the country, including the Stratford Memorial, the Peterborough Memorial and the Brant War Memorial. In 1906 the citizens of the Brantford and Brant County areas formed the Bell Memorial Association to commemorate the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in July 1874 at his parent's home, Melville House, in Brantford, Ontario. Allward's design was the unanimous chose from among 10 submitted models; the memorial was to be completed by 1912 but Allward did not finish it until five years later. The Governor General of Canada, Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire, ceremoniously unveiled the memorial on 24 October 1917.
Allward designed the monument to symbolize the telephone's ability to overcome distances. A series of steps lead to the main section where the allegorical figures of Inspiration appears over a reclining male figure representing Man, the inventor, pointing to the floating figures of Knowledge and Sorrow, positioned at the other end of the tableau. At each end of the memorial there are two female figures mounted on granite pedestals representing Humanity, one sending and the other receiving a message; the Bell Telephone Memorial's grandeur has been described as the finest example of Allward's early work, propelling the sculptor to fame. The memorial itself has been used as a central fixture for many civic events and remains an important part of Brantford's history, helping the city style itself as "The Telephone City"; the most important and famous commission Allward received was for the monument to commemorate Canadians killed in the First World War, a project which would occupy him from 1921 till the memorial's unveiling, by King Edward VIII, on 26 July 1936.
There was a huge crowd of 100,000 people present at the ceremony including over 50,000 Canadian and French veterans and their families. The Vimy Memorial was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1996. After a $30 million restoration, the monument was re-dedicated on 9 April 2007. Allward had made 150 design sketches before submitting the final plan which won the commission from the Canadian federal government; the Canadian Battlefields Memorials Commission selected Vimy Ridge as the location for the memorial, due to its elevation above the plain below, as the preferred site of Allward's design. The site was donated by France in perpetuity. In June 1922, Allward set up a studio in London and toured for more two years to find a stone of the right colour and luminosity for the memorial, he found it in the ruins of Diocletian's Palace. Known as Seget limestone, it was a stone; the stone had to be first quarried shipped by boat to France and transported to Vimy Ridge by truck and by rail.
Allward chose a new construction method, a cast concrete frame to which the limestone was bonded. The memor