September 2003

Access Archives

TRENCH REPORT: Our world-wide network of correspondents keeps sending reports: Forest fires swept through the Carso Plateau between Gorizia and Trieste in August, especially the areas near Gorizia and Mt. San Michele where the many Battles of the Isonzo were fought. The fires set off unexploded ordnance dating to the Great War . . . A new documentary series is making its debut in the U.K. World War I In Colour will be a six-part series of documentaries narrated by Kenneth Branagh and will show the battlefield and other events at that time in authentic color . . . Edinburgh has honored three of her Victoria Cross recipients. The three heroes - Private George Wilson, Sergeant-Major John Grieve and Private James Davis - were honoured in Piershill Cemetery with new headstones. On September 14, 1914, during the First World War, near Verneuill in France, Private Wilson, who was born in Edinburgh in 1886, fought seven men to capture an enemy gun emplacement. After the ceremony, the markers for Sgt. Major Grieve who distinguished himself in the Crimean War and Private Davis who served in the India Mutiny were moved to their own burial sites . . . The Dominion Institute of Toronto is taking the lead in gathering artifacts like family photos or letters to honor Canadian Vets of the Great War this Remembrance Day. The best of the submittals will be published in a newspaper and placed on-line. Email for more info.

High Altitude Photo of the Incredible Mining Damage at Butte de Vauquois
Click to Learn More About this Argonne Forest Landmark

New at the Websites of the Great War Society and Our Friends

Click on Title to Access
At La Grande Guerra
At the Dougboy Center

Military Rat Catcher
They Also Serve Who Stalk and Trap

A bit of hodge-podge this month: Look for an outbreak of Sassoonmania [Siegfried naturally not Vidal] among our war poetry fans. A two volume tell-all biography by Jean Moorcroft Wilson is causing a big stir in the British press. The buzz should be reaching America'a shores soon . . . "Bayonet" it seems derives from the name of a place, the French city of Bayonne on the Bay of Biscay, where as far back as the 17th century they were famed for making sharp knives. The military type was first described in 1704 . . . News story of 23 August - A pilgrimage of British sailors gathered on Germany's Baltic coast yesterday to retrace the steps of The Riddle of the Sands, the first modern spy novel, a century after it was published. The anniversary of Erskine Childers's seafaring classic, a prediction of the First World War and described by aficionados as a sacred text of British yachting, is being marked with rallies and readings along its windswept German route [the Dulcibella moves mainly through the Frisian Islands, a chain along the North Sea Coasts of Germany and the Netherlands]. Childers's classic tale of Edwardian espionage, published in 1903, tells the story of two amateur British sailors-cum-spies who uncover a Prussian naval plot to invade the English coast.

89th Division Football Squad
AEF Champions
Memorable September Dates:
  • 09/01/18 Aussies Capture Peronne & Mont St. Quentin;
  • 09/05/15 Czar Nicholas Takes Command of Russian Armies;
  • 09/06/14 Battle of the Marne Begins;
  • 09/08/14 Taxi Cabs to the Marne;
  • 09/09/14 1st Battle of Masurian Lakes;
  • 09/10/16 Allied Offensive at Salonika;
  • 09/11/17 French Ace Guynemer Disappears;
  • 09/12/18 First US Offensive at St. Mihiel;
  • 09/13/14 First Battle of the Aisne;
  • 09/14/14 Von Falkenhayn Succeeds Moltke;
  • 09/15/16 Tanks Used for First Time at the Somme;
  • 09/16/17 Kerensky proclaims a Russian Republic;
  • 09/19/18 Battle of Megiddo in Palestine;
  • 09/23/14 Germans Capture St. Mihiel;
  • 09/25/15 Anglo-French Offensive in Artois;
  • 09/26/18 Meuse-Argonne Offensive of AEF;
  • 09/28/14 Warsaw Offensive by Central Powers;
  • 09/28/15 British Victory Near Kut-al-Amara.

This Month's
Special Feature

St. Mihiel, France
Namesake of the St. Mihiel Trip-Wire

On Line Resources for Focused Topics

Media Player Required
Keep the Home Fires Burning

Lyrics by Lena Ford, music by Ivor Novello


Col. Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
Commander German & Colonial Forces
German East Africa

Such a hero that the revolution in Berlin was halted to welcome him home.

Click on Image for More Information

Australia's oldest World War I veteran Frank MacDonald, who has died in Tasmania aged 107, described himself as "the last of the Mohicans". "I'm too pig-headed to die," Mr MacDonald, a corporal in the all-Tasmanian 40th Battalion who was awarded a Military Medal and Legion of Honour for his bravery, said several years ago. . . The remains of three unknown Canadian soldiers were put to final rest during a full military burial service at the Passchendaele New British Cemetery on June 9. The soldiers are believed to have been members of the 3rd CEF who fought at Vine Cottage during the Battle of Passchendaele. Members of the Royal Regiment of Canada and the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada - the perpetuating units of 3 CEF-participated in the burials as pallbearers, members of the guard party and also represented the families of the unknown soldiers. The soldiers' skeletal remains were uncovered within sight of the cemetery during a construction project . . . Harry Burau -- farmer, tireless church and civic volunteer, husband, father -- seldom spoke of his brief army service during the War to End All Wars. But as he was buried with military honors Wednesday in his lifelong hometown of Fergus Falls, he was being remembered as Minnesota's last veteran of World War I. About 75,000 Minnesotans served in the war against Germany in 1917 and 1918, and nearly 3,500 of them died as a result. Burau, an 18-year-old in stateside training when the armistice came, was discharged after barely three months.

French Pilot Roland Garros of Escadrille MS 23 is one of the great figures of aviation history. He was a pre-war pioneer and was the first pilot to cross the Mediterranean. He became the first ace ever by allowing his Moraine Saulnier Type L to be equipped with deflector plates. This enabled him to fire his Hotchkiss machine gun through its airscrew. Subsequently shot-down and captured, he escaped after a long imprisonment but was eventually killed in action a month before the Armistice. The French National Tennis Center is named for Garros, an amateur tennis champion.


The League of World War I Aviation Historians

Annual Meeting
September 10-11, 2003;
Dayton, Ohio; (link)
US Air Force Museum

Great War Dawn Patrol Fly-In
September 12-14, 2003;
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio;
WFA-USA 2003 National Seminar

Quantico, Virginia,
US Marine Corps University,
September 19-21, 2003
Details: (link)
WFA-USA NE/NY Fall Seminar

Saratoga Springs, NY
New York Military Museum,
Saturday, October 25, 2003.
(full program now available)
WFA-USA Florida-Gulf Chapter Fall 2003 Seminar

November 8, 2003;
Central Florida Community College, Ocala
First Century of Flight

Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Columbia, South Carolina

WWI Aircraft Featured
5-9 November, 2003;
(email for info.)
Zelandia's Great War

Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Auckland, New Zealand

Seminar 7-10 Nov, 2003
Burial of New Zealand's Unknown Soldier Nov 11, 2003;
(email for info.)
Send additions/corrections:
Email Response

Happy 100th Birthday to a WWI Vet
The Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Hell hath no fury like a non - combatant.

      C.E. Montague

The following individuals are hereby thanked for their contributions to this issue of the Trip Wire: The Harley Davidson website; Christina Holstein, John Farina, Walt Kudlick, Tony Langley, Len Shurtleff and Jim McIntosh. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.

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