Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Winston Churchill’s Soldiers Part 2

A few months after the Antwerp fiasco (click here) Churchill enthusiastically contributed the Royal Naval Division (RND) to his next brainchild, the Dardenelles campaign. They were landed on April 25th, 1915 at lightly defended ‘X’ Beach, but didn’t advance from the beachhead and were soon withdrawn by sea as the 29th Division needed reinforcement at Helles. The RND remained in that sector throughout and participated in all of the Krythia battles. In the first battle (April 28th) The Royal Marine Brigade assaulted but failed to capture the strongpoint later called Gurkha Bluff because the 1/6th Gurkhas eventually took it.   In the second battle (May 6th-8th) the RND served with two brigades of ANZACs in an ad hoc division-sized force. The Hood battalion succeeded in capturing a position called Kanli Dere but this only moved the line about 400 yards and the bulk of this attack was borne by the ANZACs, particularly the Kiwis. As a result of this brief association the ANZACS regarded the RND as poor fighters. ...read more

Centenary of the Unknown Soldier

Coming up this week at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. You can read more about this by clicking here.

In addition to the original WW1 Unknown burial, there are side crypts for the Unknowns from WW2 and Korea. There was also a Vietnam War crypt but it is currently empty as subsequent DNA analysis identified the remains originally interred there in 1982 and they were reburied in a national cemetery in 1998. ...read more

Annie Oakley and WW1

Phoebe Ann Mosey (1860 – 1926), popularly known as ‘Annie Oakley’, was a sharpshooter who starred for 17 years in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.  It is said that, while performing in Berlin in 1887, she shot off the tip of a cigarette clenched between the teeth of the future Kaiser Wilhelm II. You can read more about Annie by clicking here. ...read more

Winston Churchill’s Soldiers

The brainchild of Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, the Royal Naval Division (RND) was formed in 1914. It was comprised of eight battalions of reserve sailors not needed for sea service and four battalions of Royal Marines, scrounged up from each Marine depot. The RND eventually numbered about 8,000 men, which was under-manned compared to army divisions of the time, which at full strength had around 12,000. The ‘sailor’ battalions were named after famous admirals: Anson, Benbow, Collingwood, Drake, Hawke, Hood, Howe and Nelson. The Marine battalions were titled after their respective depots: Chatham, Deal, Plymouth and Portsmouth. ...read more

Wooden Cargo Ships

Due to a shortage of steel during the war, the United States Shipping Board (USSB) contracted for about 700 steam-powered cargo ships to have hulls made from wood. Shipyards on the Sabine River in Texas took on some of these contracts. So the big news in Orange, Texas in May, 1918 was the launching of the City of Bonham, which was the first of 12 very large wooden cargo ships ordered by the USSB. The Bonham was built according to A.M. Daughtery’s plans and was exactly like his ships War Marvel and War Mystery, both of which had been built in Orange for the British Cunard Line. With a displacement of 4,700 tons, they were the largest wooden cargo ships that would ever be built, although by war’s end wooden ships as big as 7,300 tons had been ordered. ...read more

Bringing Back the Fallen

Although the Secretary of War had pledged to bring all of the dead home back in 1917, in 1919 all space on ships was needed to bring the living home. A rousing disagreement then started up over what to do. Many felt that the dead should be buried in beautiful cemeteries in Europe, figuratively resting amongst their comrades. Congressional debate went back and forth with the final result being a Solomonic policy: the next of kin could choose whether to have their fallen buried in one of the new cemeteries in Europe, or they could have the remains returned to the U.S. and buried at the government’s expense. The result was that 30,922 were buried in the cemeteries and about 44,000 remains were repatriated. ...read more

Congressional Gold Medal Awarded to the 369th Infantry, the “Harlem Hell Fighters”

Although the 369th Regiment Armory still stands at 142d St. and Fifth Ave. in New York, the regiment itself was disbanded in 1946 and its heritage passed to other units, now the 369th Sustainment Brigade, NY National Guard.  The original 369th Infantry, widely known as “The Harlem Hell Fighters”, served with the French in WW1, and has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM).   ...read more

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