TRENCH REPORT: Armistice Day Greetings to Roy Scow of Clancy, Montana, member of the 42nd Rainbow Division. At 107, Roy is believed to be the oldest surviving American veteran . . . The first anniversary of a new publication is a good time for reevaluation. You will see in this Special Edition of the Trip-Wire that we have shuffled the deck a bit. Two new features have been added. Film expert Andy Melomet will be contributing a regular column on WWI Films, Videos and Documentaries known as Andy's Nickelodeon. We will also have a regular cartoon from the period. The kick-off selection is from the war's most famous cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather . . . The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, IA is opening an original exhibition titled Liberation! World War I and the Formation of Czechoslovakia. The exhibition opens to the public on Halloween and closes March 7, 2004 . . . Correspondent Alice Horner passed the word about the upgraded website of the Liberty Memorial featuring a very dramatic and artful opening
(link) . . .
TRENCH REPORT CONTINUES: Thanks to the readers who have sent information about who is touting our websites and the Trip-Wire these days. Boosters include About.com [Best on Net], the Teachers Curriculum Institute, Besthistorysites.net [4 & 3 Stars], the Internet History Sourcebook, Education World, and the Center for History and New Media. The only disappointment is that the BBC has fallen out of love and no longer recommends us on their website [Sigh!] . . . But here is something I'm even prouder about. ARD German Television is producing a new World War I documentary. They have used our Members Contributions website to locate possible interview subjects to talk about their parent's war experiences. So far, Ilse Hance, Joyce Kennedy and Margaret Haas have been contacted. Visit this page to see what caught the producers attention:
(link) . . .Len Shurtleff reports he will be leaving the post of WFA - US Branch President in November 2004 after eight years in office. He will remain a Vice President of WFA - Great Britain. At the recent WFA-USA meeting Paul "Pete" Guthrie was elected as Vice President on the understanding he would take over as President in 2004. Newly elected directors included Dr. Graydon "Jack" Tunstall of Phi Alpha Theta & the University of South Florida and Sheila Swigert, a retired teacher of modern history from Staten Island, NY. Sal Compagno, President of TGWS, and Paul Cora, Chairman of the East Coast Chapter of WFA, were also re-elected to the Board . . . Speaking of the WFA, they have added an easy-to-use, [and I might say beautifully designed] Discussion Forum at their website. Look for their link below.
Check out this article for a reevaluation of John Buchan's Fiction
Jacqueline Winspear author of the WWI Mystery Maisie Dobbs will be appearing for a reading/signing of her bestseller at Books Inc, 3515 California Street (between Laurel & Spruce) San Francisco;
Wednesday November 12, 2003 @ 7:00pm.
Our earlier recommendation of John O'Hara's short story "The Doctor's Son" has generated a buzz. I would like to publish a list here of quality World War I short stories by author's not normally associated with the war's literature. Faulkner and James M. Cain have already made the short list. If you have a favorite short story [we're talking fiction here] send it in. If it makes my final cut [all decisions are final], you'll win a Great War Society mousepad.
German U-Boat in the Dardanelles
The St. Mihiel
The Inside Story
On Line Resources for Focused Topics
In the past year, I've received a lot of emails from you asking where I find all the material on World War I. Here are some of the resources that have been very helpful.
- For access to on-line news resources across the ideological spectrum nothing beats The Drudge Report
- For current news on the Great War, I check Aftermath: News Clips and my local library's INFOTRAC news database.
- For Reviews, History, Art and Culture, the absolute best is Arts & Letters Daily
- For notable obituaries and who died when: Caskets on Parade [Beware this site is addictive]
- My secret photographic weapon of unusual WWI Images is the website of Tony Langley of Antwerp, Belgium The Great War in a Different Light
- For primary, historical documents and neglected areas like medical and naval matters, I visit The World War I Document Archive except for the AEF where I find the 3-CD set The U.S. Army in World War I indispensable: It can be ordered here.
- Shortly after placing the website of the Great War Society on line, I started receiving comments, tips, advice and little criticism from people all over the world. When the number of these corres- pondents and contributors grew to over 1,000 I stopped counting. But to all of you and to the never-ending flow of new persons I've never met in person who continue sending me material - Keep it coming and thanks.
Recently released in the UK by Fremantle Media, World War I In Colour is the latest documentary series on the Great War from the Brits. The producers of The Century Of Warfare, Philip Nugus and Jonathan Martin have revisited their edited footage from that series and created new episodes for wide screen televisions, fully colorized for contemporary audiences who can't bear to watch a documentary in black and white. So what's wrong here? Well, the original footage has not been restored or remastered so 80+ years of dirt, grime and scratches are still there -- showing up as black blotches and lines on colorized footage. The original aspect ratio has been lost with the tops and bottoms of frames removed to fit wide screen televisions. And, Charles Messenger, the historian and scriptwriter presents a standard version of the war with no new insights from Niall Ferguson's school of history. But, some aspects of this 6 part, 2 DVD set are worthwhile. First, there is something fascinating about the colorized footage on those rare occasions when its condition is pristine. After all, the producers did try for accurate colors in uniforms, equipment, etc. When this comes together, the effect can be startling. Second, there are numerous interviews with surviving veterans. Personally, I can never get enough of these. The impact of their horrific experiences is still there in their faces, voices and emotions. Last, there is a 7th extra-feature episode, entitled "Tactics & Strategy." It uses the colorized footage with CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to recreate the first tank vs. tank battle, the heroic Zeebrugge raid, the 1918 offensives and other pivotal moments of the war. This style is familiar to anyone who has seen the military history documentaries from Cromwell Productions. If only the producers of World War I In Colour had made the entire series in this fashion. NOTE: This series is available online from a number of websites but be aware that you need a DVD player that will play and decode a PAL DVD for your NTSC television set.
VETERAN OF THE MONTH
Capt. Eddie Grant
307th Inf., 77th Div. AEF
KIA Oct 1918
Major Leaguer & Lawyer
Source of Baseball Jinx?
|Click on Image for More Information|
Yod Sangrungruang sole survivor of the 1,284 members of the Royal Thai Expeditionary Force died in October at 106. He was an aircraft mechanic in France and became headman of his village after his return.
At 25 years, Brigadier Roland B. 'Boy' Bradford, VC, MC was the youngest general in the British Army. He was killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai, November 20, 1917 and buried at the Hermies CWG Cemetery near Cambrai.
Gallieni of the Marne
Click to Learn More About France at War
GREAT WAR 2003-4 EVENT CALENDAR
Great War Society Tri-Chapter Meeting|
Sonoma, CA and the Great War
November 8, 2003; Begins 1030am
Sonoma's Veterans Memorial Park
WFA-USA Florida-Gulf Chapter Fall
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.)
Armistice/Memorial Day Ceremony|
Maryland War Memorial Building
Auckland, New Zealand
101 N. Gay St. Baltimore, MD at 10:30 AM
Presented by the WFA East Coast Chapter
(email for info.)
Great War Society |
The Near East and the First World War
Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, MO
April 22-24, 2004
WFA-USA National Seminar|
State University of NY, Plattsburgh, NY
August 6-8, 2004
Mark your calendar and check back for more information.
German Delousing Station
I am obliged to report that, at the present moment, the Russian Empire is run by lunatics.
Soldier enter this house:
Life for humans, death for the louse.
Ambassador Paleologue, January 14, 1917
|The following individuals are hereby thanked for their contributions to this issue of the Trip Wire: Frank Jordan, Alice Horner, Len Shurtleff, Bob Rudolph, Christina Holstein, Tony Langley and Rich Galli. Eddie Grant's Baseball Card was found at the Library of Congress American Memory website. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.