May 2005

Access Archives

TRENCH REPORT: Just back from the recent Great War Society annual seminar in Los Angeles, a great time was had by all the attendees; we will have a major report with photos in next months edition. . .Changes are coming at the Great War Society web pages. Our network has become so vast that I've begun receiving complaints about difficulties in finding things. Over the next three months [this is huge project] you will see a new organizational approach with simplified index pages, more finding aids plus a whole new look. . .Our favorite new WWI flick A Very Long Engagement has just won The Mystery Writers Edgar Award for Best Screenplay. . .Newlywed Prince Charles and the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand put in appearances at the recent ANZAC Day event at Gallipoli (link). . .Some news about friends of the Trip-Wire: Past contributors Jean-Marie Picquart and Eric Mansuy are promoting an exhibit "Les Ambulanciers volontaires américains dans l'Est de la France, 1915/1917" (American volunteers drivers in East of France 1915/1917) will begin at Pont à Mousson in the City hall starting the 5th of June 2005 for 3 or 4 weeks. The exhibit will move to other towns in Eastern France through 2006. . .GWS Member Tom Phelan was interviewed in Irish Echo on his forthcoming WWI Novel (link). . .GWS Member Martin Marix Evans is an advisor to the series Battlefield Britain making the rounds on PBS stations.

Memorable Event

May 7, 1915

Lusitania Sunk
By U-20 Near Ireland

Click on Image for More Information

New at the Websites of the Great War Society and Our Friends
Click on Title to Access

At Great War Society Sites At the WFA-USA

The Real Deal

Doomed Ship
The RMS Lusitania
This Month's
Special Feature

The Radio War

Gone West

Frédéric Mathieu. reports the recent passing of several heroes of France : Marcel Savonnet (22-03-1898 / 01-11-2004) ; Louis Cabrol (14-05-1899 / 08-11-2004) ; Maurice Guilloteau (1898 / 24-11-2004) ; Albert Piton (? / 13-01-2005) ; Charles Binet (16-09-1896 / 02-02-2005). He believes there are now twelve remain French veterans of the war, the oldest being Maurice Floquet who is 110.

Advertisement From 1918

It's time for a new contest. The staff of the Trip-Wire will begin compiling and publishing the best World War I jokes submitted by the readers. In case you have a hard time coming to terms with the idea of a joke associated with the events of 1914-18, here are a few specimens for your perusal:

In Germany during the Great War, the answer to, "How Long Will the War Last," was, "Till the officers have to eat the same food as the men." [During the Second World War the appropriate answer was, "Until Goering fits into Goebbels's trousers."]
In Victor Klemperer's I Will Bear Witness, 1933-1941: A Diary of the Nazi Years

Questions a Platoon Commander Should Ask Himself: #1. Am I as offensive as I might be?
In Wipers Times

Rum was shipped to the front in ceramic jugs stamped 'SRD' (Service Rum Diluted). It was a joke among the soldiers that it really meant, 'Seldom Reaches Destination!'
At Tom Morgan's Hellfire Corner.

Submit your entry via (email). In cases of ties, prizes will go to the earlier entry. No utterances of Edmund Blackadder will be accepted.


WFA New England - New York Spring Seminar
FDR Presidential Library,
Hyde Park, NY

June 11, 2005 (link)
WFA-USA 16th Annual National Seminar

Virginia Military Museum [Full Program Now]
Newport News, Virginia
September 23-25, 2005 (link)
Send additions/corrections:
Email Response

Harold Macmillan (afterwards Earl of Stockton), Oliver Lyttelton (afterwards Viscount Chandos), Bobbety Cranborne (afterwards Marquess of Salisbury) and Harry Crookshank (afterwards Viscount Crookshank) all went as pupils to Eton in 1906, all served in the First World War in the same battalion of the Grenadier Guards; and all entered Winston Churchill's Cabinet during the Second World War.

Observed by Richard Davenport-Hines in his recent review of THE GUARDSMEN

Ambulance at Gallipoli

[At Gallipoli]There was no coordination of effort. There was no connected plan of action. There was no sense of the importance of time.

David Lloyd George,
War Memoirs

Page Two

In the Argonne Forest - A Poem

Contributed by Christina Sharik, Army Mom, Daughter and Granddaughter

I am the mother of a soldier, the daughter of a WWII soldier, and the granddaughter of a man who served in the Argonne in WWI - have written a poem (among many) and thought I would be brave and send it along.

In the Argonne Forest

In the Argonne Forest
the soldiers watch and wait
while the cold wind blows and
still it snows,
and Spring
is coming late.......

In the Argonne Forest,
men try to still their fear
while the enemy tramps
over frozen ground,
their boots making a crunchy sound
til their faces become

Deep in wartime France,
in the forest called Argonne,
grandfather fought in trenches,
and when they could
no longer fight
they simply carried on....

Deep in the Argonne Forest
the soldiers watch and wait
while the cold wind blows and
still it snows,
and Spring
is coming late.......

In Memory of my maternal grandfather,
Henry Albert Moore,
who served in WWI, in France, and the Meuse-Argonne Battles.

©Christina 3-04
(with accompanying music)

From Tony Langley's War in a Different Light

Two Selections From Tony's Vast Collection of Period Magazines
Canadian Ace Billy Bishop and German Soldiers Reading the News at the Front

Click Here to Visit War in a Different Light

World War I Film Lists

By Andrew Melomet
TLA Video was established back in 1985 as a subsidiary of the Theater of the Living Arts, one of the East Coast's leading repertory cinemas. And now, there's TLA the book; specifically TLA Video & DVD Guide 2005-The Discerning Film Lover's Guide. Its 808 pages feature reviews of more than 10,000 films. As befits its origins it pays special attention to independent, foreign and classic films that can get short shrift in other guides. If you're a film lover, this is an excellent guide to titles you've missed and need to encounter. Its list of 35 recommended titles on World War I contains not only old favorites but some unexpected gems as well. This is a good list of titles readily available on VHS and DVD, although not always in their original aspect ratio.

I'm partial to the American produced "peacenik" films of the 1930s which are not out on video or DVD and are missing from this list; such as "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head," "They Gave Him a Gun," etc. Still, the TLA list is a good list of basic W.W.I films from the US, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Australia; with a few quirky titles for flavor:

  • All Quiet on the
    Western Front (1930)
  • The African Queen (1951)
  • The Big Parade (1925)
  • The Blue Max (1966)
  • Capitaine Conan (1996)
  • The Dark Angel (1935)
  • Dark Journey (1937)
  • The Dawn Patrol (1938)
  • Deathwatch (2002)
  • Devil in the Flesh
    (Le Diable au Corps) (1947)
  • East of Eden (1955)
  • A Farewell to Arms (1932)
  • The Fighting 69th (1940)
  • For Me and My Gal (1942)
  • Gallipoli (1981)
  • Grand Illusion (1937)
  • Le Grande Guerra (1959)
  • The Green Room (1978)
  • Hedd Wynn (1995)
  • Hell's Angels (1930)
  • In Love and War 1996)
  • King of Hearts (1967)
  • Legends of the Fall (1994)
  • Life and Nothing But (1990)
  • The Lighthorsemen (1988)
  • A Little Princess (1995)
  • The Lost Patrol (1934)
  • Max (2002)
  • Paths of Glory (1957)
  • Sergeant York (1941)
  • Shout at the Devil (1976)
  • The Spy in Black (1939)
  • The Unknown Soldier (1998)
  • Westfront 1918 (1930)
  • Wings (1927)

For our purposes, by restricting the list to titles out on video and DVD TLA has left out some important movies. Lawrence J. Quirk's The Great War Films (1994, Citadel Press) leaves out most of the TLA quirkier selections and adds:

  • Hearts of the World (1918)
  • The Four Horsemen of the
    Apocalypse (1921)
  • What Price Glory (1926)
  • Journey's End (1930)
  • The Dawn Patrol (1930)
  • Hell's Angels (1930)
  • Today We Live (1933)
  • The Road to Glory (1936)

Mike Hanlon, my esteemed editor and friend, points out that both of these lists are missing Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and other notable titles. This indicates that lists can be very subjective. Perhaps, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is less of a WWI film and more of a biopic or epic.

So, here's what I'd like to suggest to our readers. Send me your lists of recommended titles on World War I. They can be in favorite order, chronological sequence or alphabetical. Include your comments on why you've selected your titles and if it's an obscure title, include a synopsis or description. Let's see what sort of composite and comprehensive list we can create and eventually post on-line. I'd like to be able to post this by next Memorial Day in 2006.

Andrew Melomet, Proprietor of Andy's Nickelodeon will answer your Great War film or video inquiry. Just click HERE.

The following are thanked for their contributions to this issue of the Trip Wire: Tony Langley, Andy Melomet, Len Shurtleff, Jean-Marie Picquart, Christina Sharik and Frédéric Mathieu. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.

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